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April 1972

Individual Morphological Variations Seen in Australia Antigen Positive Sera

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Virology, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London.

Am J Dis Child. 1972;123(4):303-309. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110100035013

The Virological Department of the Hammersmith Hospital for the past two years has screened for the presence of Australia antigen (HAA) all candidates for admission to the hemodialysis unit and has also provided a diagnostic service for the presence of the antigen in all cases of suspected serum hepatitis. The serum is examined initially by immunodiffusion in agar gel, and all positives are confirmed by direct electron microscopy, using the negative staining technique.1 In addition, any serum that is, by presumptive evidence, likely to contain Australia antigen, is automatically screened by electron microscopy. This has meant that over 30 positive sera have been available for electron microscope examination. The outstanding feature of these sera is the degree of variation that exists between them. The variations fall into one of three classes: the morphology of the Australia antigen itself, the relative proportions of the different structural forms of the antigen,

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