Immunochemical Characterization of Hepatitis B e Antigen Subtypes, HBeAg/l and HBeAg/2, in Sera of Hepatitis B Virus Carriers

Keizaburoh Matsuda, Hitoshi Ohori, Atsushi Kanno

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The interrelation between HBeAg subtypes, HBeAg/l and HBeAg/2, in sera was examined immunochemically. The detection of HBeAg subtypes in immunodiffusion (ID) depended upon the amount of HBeAg determined by reversed passive haemagglutination (RPHA), ie, the titres of HBeAg in sera positive for both HBeAg/l and HBeAg/2, positive for only HBeAg/l and negative for both HBeAg/ 1 and HBeAg/2 were 29.8 ± 1.5 27.0 ± 1.6 and 25.6 ± 1.3, respectively. When the sera belonging to the latter two groups were concentrated up to 2″ RPHA titre, the precipitin line corresponding to that of HBeAg/2‐anti‐HBeAg/2 was visualized in ID. Monoclonal anti‐HBeAg antibody that absorbed only the precipitin line of HBeAg/1‐anti‐HBeAg/1 in ID was prepared for the characterization of HBeAg subtypes. A linear correlation (r = 0.91) between titres of HBeAg determined by the RPHA cells prepared with monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies was found in almost all HBeAg‐positive sera. The reactivities of this monoclonal anti‐HBeAg antibody to both HBeAg/l and HBeAg/2 were demonstrated in affinity chromatography experiments using a Sepharose 4B column conjugated with this antibody. These results suggest that both HBeAg/l and HBeAg/2 are constantly present in HBeAg‐positive sera and that they are closely associated. Based upon these results, a hypothetical model for the elucidation of the immunological relationship between HBeAg/l and HBeAg/2 is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-228
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1986 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • HBeAg subtypes
  • agar gel diffusion
  • common epitope
  • monoclonal anti‐HBeAg antibody
  • reversed passive haemagglutination assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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