Ninety percent of newborn infants infected with Hepatitis B become carriers,; however the risk of becoming a chronic carrier following primary infection decreases during early childhood, so that by the age of 4, only 10 percent of those infected become chronic carriers. As a result, the infection of children at birth or soon thereafter results in higher prevalence of chronic carriers, with the consequent higher risk of hepatocellular carcinoma and chronic liver disease and perpetuation of the risk through maternal-fetal transmission. Blumberg discovered an antibody, known as the Australia antigen (Au) in 1976 that is used to screen blood for the presence of the Hepatitis B virus. In the early 1970’s Krugman and colleagues built the foundation in developing the virus. Two strains of hepatitis B virus are used in their study using human volunteers. One of the strains named MS-1 was found later to actually be hepatitis A virus. The other named MS-2 was confirmed as being hepatitis B virus. Krugman
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