Correlation of e antigen, DNA polymerase activity, and Dane particles in chronic benign and chronic active type B hepatitis infections

J Infect Dis. 1977 Jun;135(6):980-4. doi: 10.1093/infdis/135.6.980.


The e determinant of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBS Ag) was found in 23 of 42 patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Presence of e antigen was associated with increases in DNA polymerase activity and in the number of circulating Dane particles. In the group with detectable e antigen, the average DNA polymerase activity was 367+/-78 counts per minute (cpm; mean+/-standard error [SE]), and the average number of Dane particles counted in electron micrographs was 4.4% of the total HBS Ag. In contrast, e antigen-negative patients had an average DNA polymerase activity of 40+/-6.9 cpm (P less than 0.1) and an average Dane particle count equal to 0.6% of the HBS Ag. The e antigen was detected in 68% of patients who were HBS Ag carriers or had persistent viral hepatitis and 40% of those with chronic active type B hepatitis. Thus, the presence of e antigen correlated with both the chronicity and presence of infectious HBV. However, it did not correlate with the type or severity of liver disease after HBV infection, since e antigen was present in both chronic benign and chronic aggressive hepatitis B infections.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Chronic Disease
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Epitopes
  • Hepatitis B Antigens*
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens*
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / immunology*
  • Humans


  • Epitopes
  • Hepatitis B Antigens
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase