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Detection of HBs antigen, DNA polymerase activity, and hepatitis B virus DNA in tears: relevance to hepatitis B transmission by tears.
  1. P Gastaud,
  2. C Baudouin and
  3. D Ouzan
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, Saint-Roch Hospital, Nice, France.


    Hepatitis B surface antigen, DNA polymerase, and hepatitis B virus DNA have been sought in the tears of 72 patients. These markers were detected in a high percentage of hepatitis B carriers, which proves the presence of hepatitis B virus in the tears and raises the question of its eventual transmission in this way. The severity and extreme contagiousness of hepatitis B together with the increasing number of virus carriers justify systematic sanitary rules among ophthalmic clinicians and staff, but vaccination remains the best mean of limiting the spread of the disease.

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