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  1. H-W Zhang,
  2. J-H Yin,
  3. G-W Cao
  1. Department of Epidemiology, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China
  1. Professor G-W Cao, Department of Epidemiology, Second Military Medical University, 800 Xiangyin Rd, Shanghai 200433, China; gcao{at}

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We thank Drs Lin and Kao for their thoughtful comments on our recent article published in Gut. Two important questions are raised. One is a possible selection bias, and the other is serum viral load of the asymptomatic carriers with hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes B and C.

After various laboratory examinations, not enough qualified sera from 166 patients with acute hepatitis B (AHB) were left. Qualified sera from 128 out of the 294 cases were available for HBV genotyping. Age (p>0.05) and gender (p>0.05) compositions of the 128 patients were similar to those of the total 294 patients. In acute resolving hepatitis B, serum viral load usually declines rapidly due to a vigorous immune response. We harvested the sera of the patients with …

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