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Virus-like Particles Within Hepatocytes of Australia Antigen Carriers

Felice Caramia, MD; Carlo De Bac, MD; Germano Ricci, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1972;123(4):309-311. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110100041014.
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The association of the Australia (Au) antigen with serum hepatitis has been established.1 The biological nature of the antigen has not been clarified, however, nor has it been proved to be the causative agent of the disease. Electron microscopic studies of the serum precipitate containing the Au-antigen have shown pleomorphic spherical particles of about 200 angstroms in diameter and tubular forms of varying length.2 Dane et al3 have demonstrated a double-shelled particle of approximately 400 A in diameter in addition to the smaller round and elongated particles which resemble small viruses. It has been proposed that the large particles are the virus and the smaller particles a reaggregation of virus-proteins.

Millman et al4 have shown antigen in liver cells by the direct immunofluorescent technique and Brzosko et al,5 using ferritin-labeled antibody, also identified particles of approximately 200 A in thin sections of liver cells from


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