Immunological evaluation of asymptomatic carriers of hepatitis B virus

Y. Levo, D. Shouval, R. Tur-Kaspa, S. Wollner, S. Penchas, A. Zlotnick, M. Eliakim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The immune system of 69 asymptomatic HBsAg carriers with normal liver function tests was evaluated. B cell function, as documented by serum immunoglobulin levels, number of mouse rosette-forming lymphocytes and lymphocyte reactivity to staphylococcal protein A, was intact. On the other hand, T cell function was markedly impaired. This was manifested by a significant decrease in E rosette-forming lymphocytes, and increase in stable rosette-forming cells and decreased reactivity to phytohaemagglutinin and concanavalin A. These data rule out the possibility that the immunological aberrations associated with hepatitis B infection are secondary to liver injury. The abnormal immune state either precedes the viral infection, thus predisposing to the acquisition of a carrier state or, alternatively, is a direct result of the infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-67
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


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