[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
April 1972

Subspecificities of the Australia Antigen Complex

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn
From the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Am J Dis Child. 1972;123(4):420-424. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110100152059
Abstract

Australia (Au) antigen,1 also known as serum hepatitis (SH) antigen and hepatitis-associated antigen (HAA), appears in the serum during infection with the agent, or one of the agents, of long-incubation (type B) hepatitis.2,3 Australia antigen is carried on characteristic spherical and tubular particles 20 nm in diameter,4 which are most probably fragments of a viral lipoprotein envelope, related in structure and antigenic specificity to the outer coat of the relatively infrequent 42-nm viruslike particles seen in certain Au-antigen-positive (Au+) sera.5 Whether or not these larger particles represent the actual "hepatovirions" is a matter of continuing debate.

Repeated indications over the past two years suggest that Au antigen is not a single simple entity, and that anti-Au antisera may contain antibody molecules of different specificities. Levene and Blumberg were the first to study these reactions6: they described a common antigenic specificity, "a," shared Au+ sera; and two additional, apparently allternative, specificities,

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview
×