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|Year : 1977 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 186-188
Hepatitis B antigen and venereal diseases (A preliminary study)
RS Shetty1, JP Bapat2, SH Joshi2, AJ Baxi2
1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, K.E.M. Hospital, Bombay-400012, India
2 B.G.R.C. Unit, Haffkine Institute, Bombay-400 012., India
R S Shetty
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, K.E.M. Hospital, Bombay-400012
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
226 volunteer donors and 320 cases of syphilis (with positive VDRL test) were screened for hepatitis B antigen (HBs Ag, Australia antigen). The incidence of hepatitis B antigen in these groups was 0.88% and nil respectively. The present data, though small in size do not indicate any positive correlation between HBsAg and syphilis-as claimed by other workers.
|How to cite this article:|
Shetty R S, Bapat J P, Joshi S H, Baxi A J. Hepatitis B antigen and venereal diseases (A preliminary study). J Postgrad Med 1977;23:186-8
| :: Introduction|| |
Large number of diseases have been investigated for the presence of hepatitis B antigen (HB S Ag, Australia antigen) following the discovery by Blumberg and his colleagues. , The age old hypothesis that serum hepatitis (type B) is transmitted through the parenteral route only has been belied after Krugman and his associates showed clearly that hepatitis F infection can be transmitted through faecal oral route also.  Recent studies , have suggested that HB S Ag and/or hepatitis B viral infection can be produced by sexual route. While Vranckx  and others have obtained evidence of a high rate of HB S Ag positivity (9.1%) among the cases of syphilis, there are other reports, , suggesting negative correlation of HB S Ag and venereal diseases.
We have reported HB S Ag status in a number of disorders including viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, leukemia, lepromatous leprosy and renal diseases previously. ,,
The incidence of HB S Ag and anti HB S Ag in patients suffering from syphilis from Bombay is obtained in this preliminary communication.
| :: Material and Methods|| |
Blood samples were collected for the HB s Ag and anti HB S Ag detection from 226 healthy volunteer donors and 320 patients suffering from syphilis. Serologic tests specific for syphilis were done according to the standard routine testing (VDRL test).
Since the number of samples investigated is small no attempt has been made to classify the disorders. Clear separated serum was used for screening of HB S Ag and anti HB S Ag by counter immunoelectrophoresis (CEP) as outlined by Bapat et al.  Positive and negative controls were used with each batch of test samples.
| :: Results and Discussion|| |
No positive sample for HB s Ag was demonstrated among 320 patients of varying severity of syphilis. Under identical conditions, the healthy volunteer donors showed an incidence of 0.88%, which is in accord with earlier reports from this laboratory and others. ,, Absence of HB s Ag among patients of syphilis in the present study is rather surprising. A number of reports on the association of HB s Ag with venereal diseases including syphilis have appeared. ,, Positive association of high incidence of HB s Ag in venereal diseases have been shown by some workers-while a negative correlation was also reported. , The decreased cell mediated immunity has been held responsible for higher incidence of HB s Ag in several investigations.  Reasons for the absence of HB s Ag in the present study are obscure. However two possibilities exist.
1. It is possible that HB s Ag may have been present during the early stages of disease and may have disappeared at the time of testing.
2. The HB s Ag may be present in a low titre and may have thus escaped the detection by CEP technique which is comparatively insensitive when compared to haemagglutination assay (HA)  or radio-immuno-assay (RIA).  This postulate has bearing on our previous work wherein we have shown that HB s Ag in the later stages of viral hepatitis is not detectable.  Anti-HB s Ag was also not detected in any of the samples. Present study indicates that a large sample of venereal disease may have to be investigated using more sensitive techniques like HA and RIA-in order to come to definite conclusion on HB s Ag status in venereal diseases.
| :: References|| |
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