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April 9, 1973

Australia Antigen in Collagen Disease

Author Affiliations

Abington Memorial Hospital Abington, Pa
Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, Pa

JAMA. 1973;224(2):248-249. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220150056026

To the Editor.—  The work of Burrell and colleagues1 and Miller's group2 would indicate that Australia antigen is not found in rheumatoid arthritis, but is found in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It is true that a high percentage of SLE and periarteritis patients have Australia antigen,3-6 but Australia antigen is found in rheumatoid arthritis patients and, especially interesting, is the finding that antibody to Australia antigen can be found in rheumatoid arthritis patients in a high frequency by comparison with volunteer blood donors.We have studied sera from 27 patients with diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis confirmed by laboratory findings and consistent with their clinical picture. Three of the 27 patients had antibody to Australia antigen, and one had Australia antigen in his serum. The method of testing was that of sandwich counter electrophoresis. Treating the sera with mercaptoethanol6,7 revealed two sera containing Australia antigen and no sera positive