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Australia antigen

Robert Baird and Bronwyn Munro
Med J Aust 2002; 177 (11): 680.

Fairfield Hospital, now sadly closed, once described as "an infectious disease training nirvana, where physicians danced naked along the banks of the Yarra", used to attract many returned overseas travellers with fever. Among the tens of thousands of blood smears screened by its excellent malarial scientists, occasionally a gem such as this "Australia antigen" was found. Note that Tasmania is represented by a platelet, rather than as part of the monocyte, surely reflecting the ambivalent status of our island State.

Robert Baird, Infectious Diseases Physician and Microbiologist
Bronwyn Munro, Laboratory Scientist
Melbourne Pathology, Collingwood, VIC.

Thanks to Mr J A Manitta, Senior Haematologist, Malaria Reference Laboratory, Clinical Pathology Department, Fairfield Hospital (now the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory).