Rapid identification of low level hepatitis B-related viral genome in serum

J Clin Invest. 1989 Oct;84(4):1367-71. doi: 10.1172/JCI114308.


A sensitive and specific method has been developed to detect hepatitis B virus (HBV) in serum. The method involves two steps: the capture of viral genome from serum using a high affinity IgM monoclonal antibody directed against a common a domain epitope found on the envelope, and the amplification of viral DNA by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The amplification is initiated using "generic" primers derived from the core and pre-core sequences which are highly conserved amongst the hepadnaviruses. This rapid technique detects less than 10 infectious virions and may be useful in the study of individuals with acute and chronic liver disease of unknown etiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Autoradiography
  • Chronic Disease
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Genes, Viral*
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / immunology
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics
  • Hepatitis B virus / isolation & purification*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Liver Diseases / diagnosis
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • DNA, Viral
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin M