Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of gutGutView this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Gut. 1977 December; 18(12): 997–1003.
PMCID: PMC1411847

Immunofluorescence detection of new antigen-antibody system (delta/anti-delta) associated to hepatitis B virus in liver and in serum of HBsAg carriers.


A new antigen-antibody system associated with the hepatitis B virus and immunologically distinct from the HB surface, core, and e systems is reported. The new antigen, termed delta, was detected by direct immunofluorescence only in the liver cell nuclei of patients with HBsAg positive chronic liver disease. At present, the intrahepatic expression of HBcAg and delta antigen appears to be mutually exclusive. No ultrastructural aspect corresponding to the delta antigen could be identified under the electron microscope. delta antibody was found in the serum of chronic HBsAg carriers, with a higher prevalence in patients with liver damage. The nuclear fluorescence patterns of HBcAg and delta antigen were similar; it is only possible to discriminate between the two antigens by using the respective specific antisera.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.2M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Gerber MA, Sarno E, Vernace SJ. Immune complexes in hepatocytic nuclei of HB ag-positive chronic hepatitis. N Engl J Med. 1976 Apr 22;294(17):922–925. [PubMed]
  • Gudat F, Bianchi L, Sonnabend W, Thiel G, Aenishaenslin W, Stalder GA. Pattern of core and surface expression in liver tissue reflects state of specific immune response in hepatitis B. Lab Invest. 1975 Jan;32(1):1–9. [PubMed]
  • Hoofnagle JH, Gerety RJ, Barker LF. Antibody to hepatitis-B-virus core in man. Lancet. 1973 Oct 20;2(7834):869–873. [PubMed]
  • Huang SN, Groh V. A study on antibodies produced with liver tissue containing Australia antigen and virus-like particles. Lab Invest. 1973 Dec;29(6):743–750. [PubMed]
  • Magnius LO, Espmark JA. New specificities in Australia antigen positive sera distinct from the Le Bouvier determinants. J Immunol. 1972 Nov;109(5):1017–1021. [PubMed]
  • Nielsen JO, Nielsen MH, Elling P. Differential distribution of Australia-antigen-associated particles in patients with liver diseases and normal carriers. N Engl J Med. 1973 Mar 8;288(10):484–487. [PubMed]
  • Ray MB, Desmet VJ, Bradburne AF, Desmyter J, Fevery J, De Groote J. Differential distribution of hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis B core antigen in the liver of hepatitis B patients. Gastroenterology. 1976 Sep;71(3):462–469. [PubMed]
  • Rizzetto M, Bonino F, Crivelli O, Canese MG, Verme G. Complement fixing hepatitis B core antigen immune complexes in the liver of patients with HBs antigen positive chronic disease. Gut. 1976 Nov;17(11):837–843. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Rizzetto M, Crivelli O, Verme G, Suriani R. Intrahepatic localization of the surface (HBsAg) and core (HBcAg) antigenic determinants associated with hepatitis B virus in biopsy samples from patients with liver disease. Ric Clin Lab. 1976 Jan-Mar;6(7):41–54. [PubMed]
  • Robinson WS, Lutwick LI. The virus of hepatitis, type B (first of two parts). N Engl J Med. 1976 Nov 18;295(21):1168–1175. [PubMed]

Articles from Gut are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group