Particles associated with Australia Antigen in the Sera of Patients with Leukaemia, Down's Syndrome and Hepatitis
AUSTRALIA antigen was first identified using an antiserum produced in a transfused patient1,2. The antiserum gave a clear precipitin line in a double diffusion experiment when placed adjacent to the serum from an Australian aborigine. Pending further identification of the antigen, the geographic name ``Australian antigen'' was given to the reacting material found in the aborigine's serum. Specific antisera against this antigen can be produced by immunizing rabbits with serum containing Australia antigen, and subsequent absorption with serum which does not contain Australia antigen3. The precipitin band which forms between the haemophilia antiserum and the serum containing Australia antigen stains faintly with sudan black, indicating that the antigen contains lipid. It has a specific gravity of less than 1.21 and appears in the first peak in `Sephadex G-200' column chromatography (indicating a high molecular weight)4.