Our previous observations of highly significant increases in high titre antibodies to measles and rubella in patients with chronic active hepatitis have been extended and it has been shown that these reactions do not occur in other forms of liver disease. Significant increases in antibody titres to cytomegalovirus have also been found in patients with chronic active hepatitis (p<0·001) and alcoholic and primary biliary cirrhosis (p<0·05). Antibody titres to herpes simplex, varicella/zoster, parainfluenza I, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae in all forms of chronic liver disease did not differ from controls. Immunofluorescent autoantibodies were correlated with the viral antibodies and a highly significant correlation with strongly positive antismooth muscle and antinuclear antibodies and measles antibody titres in particular was noted. The possible significance of this correlation is discussed in terms of the hypothesis that the intact liver plays a significant role in the sequestering of antigens.
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