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December 25, 1972

Australia Antigen: Another Interesting Family

JAMA. 1972;222(13):1651. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210130043019

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To the Editor.—  Two of the donors who tested positive for Australia antigen in Tasmania, Australia, were brothers. The incidence of carriers among voluntary blood donors is similar to that in other parts of Australia, viz 0.11%.The two brothers belonged to a large immigrant family who had come to Australia from Holland many years previously. Further investigation revealed another carrier—a third brother of similar age. Negative results were obtained from the remaining family members available for testing, including both parents, two sisters, and four more brothers. The only history of jaundice in the family was that of a short-term attack affecting the father's brother in Holland in 1935.The cluster is, therefore, represented by three brothers aged 28, 23, and 21 years. The four younger children, two girls and two boys, all had negative results. Two older brothers and the parents also had negative results. Two other siblings were