Immunoglobulin M antibody to hepatitis B core antigen in patients with chronic type B hepatitis

Gastroenterology. 1985 Aug;89(2):252-8. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(85)90323-3.

Abstract

Serum samples from 130 persons who were seropositive for hepatitis B surface antigen and who had various forms of accompanying liver disease were tested for immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody to hepatitis B core antigen. In 99% of patients with hepatitis B antigen-positive chronic type B hepatitis, IgM antibody to hepatitis B core antigen was present. This antibody was not present in "healthy" hepatitis B surface antigen carriers and was detectable in only 30% of patients with delta hepatitis. Testing of serial sera from 38 patients with chronic type B hepatitis revealed that IgM antibody to hepatitis B core antigen persisted in patients who had evidence of persistent hepatitis B virus replication but ultimately disappeared in those patients who exhibited a sustained loss of serum markers of viral replication (hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid polymerase activity). These findings suggest that the presence of IgM antibody to hepatitis B core antigen in chronic hepatitis B surface antigen carriers indicates an active immune response to persistent viral replication.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / blood
  • Hepatitis B / blood
  • Hepatitis B / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies / analysis*
  • Hepatitis B Core Antigens / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis*
  • Radioimmunoassay

Substances

  • DNA, Viral
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Core Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase