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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1976 October; 32(4): 572–574.
PMCID: PMC170308

Hepatitis B surface antigen in saliva, impetiginous lesions, and the environment in two remote Alaskan villages.


A study was conducted in an area of hepatitis B hyperendemicity to determin whether contact with infective bodily secretions or contaminated environmental surfaces could be involved in the transmission of the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B surface antigen was detected in gingival swab, saliva, and impetiginous lesion exudate samples from children. Hepatitis B surface antigen also was found in swab samples of surfaces frequently touched or placed in the mouth. In the absence of classical exposure to infectious blood or blood products, these findings suggested that, in a crowded home environment, saliva and cutaneous exudates containing hepatitis B virus may play a role in the transmission of hepatitis B.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Cherubin CE, Purcell RH, Lander JJ, McGinn TG, Cone LA. Acquisition of antibody to hepatitis B antigen in three socioeconomically different medical populations. Lancet. 1972 Jul 22;2(7769):149–151. [PubMed]
  • Favero MS, Bond WW, Petersen NJ, Berquist KR, Maynard JE. Detection methods for study of the stability of hepatitis B antigen on surfaces. J Infect Dis. 1974 Feb;129(2):210–212. [PubMed]
  • Favero MS, Maynard JE, Petersen NJ, Boyer KM, Bond WW, Berquist KR, Szmuness W. Letter: Hepatitis-B antigen on environmental surfaces. Lancet. 1973 Dec 22;2(7843):1455–1455. [PubMed]
  • Maynard JE, Barrett DH, Murphy BL, Bradley DW, Berquist KR, Bender TR. Relation of e antigen to hepatitis B virus infection in an area of hyperendemicity. J Infect Dis. 1976 Mar;133(3):339–342. [PubMed]
  • Ricci G, De Bac C, Caramia F. Carriers of hepatitis B antigen: an epidemiologic and histologic study. J Infect Dis. 1973 Jul;128(1):125–128. [PubMed]
  • Tanno G, Fay O, Roncoroni M. Virus-B hepatitis in saliva. Lancet. 1972 Oct 14;2(7781):822–823. [PubMed]
  • Villarejos VM, Visoná KA, Gutiérrez A, Rodríguez A. Role of saliva, urine and feces in the transmission of type B hepatitis. N Engl J Med. 1974 Dec 26;291(26):1375–1378. [PubMed]
  • Ward R, Borchert P, Wright A, Kline E. Hepatitis B antigen in saliva and mouth washings. Lancet. 1972 Oct 7;2(7780):726–727. [PubMed]

Articles from Applied and Environmental Microbiology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)