An institutional outbreak of hepatitis B related to a human biting carrier

Talley P. Cancio-Bello, Maria De Medina, James Shorey, Maria D. Valledor, Eugene R. Schiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


An outbreak of hepatitis B in a residential institution for the mentally retarded was studied. Initially one overt case of hepatitis was noted. A serologic screen of students and employees revealed a total of 12 individuals positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Subtyping by radioimmunoassay subsequently demonstrated that the population of HBsAg-positive individuals could be subdivided into two groups, based on the HBsAg subtype: adw 2 or ayw 3. The five individuals with subtype adw 2 all were carriers. The ayw 3 group, in contrast, were acutely infected except for one carrier with persistent hepatitis B (e) antigen. Both the ayw 3 carrier and several of the acutely infected individuals were aggressive biters. Human biting, a frequent occurrence in the classroom studied, was one probably mode of transmission in this outbreak. The resolution of the outbreak was achieved by rapid screening for HBsAg with subtyping of positive patients and careful observation of the setting for putative modes of transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-656
Number of pages5
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'An institutional outbreak of hepatitis B related to a human biting carrier'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this