Hepatitis B (HBV) Blood Test Panel
The Hepatitis B (HBV) Blood Test Panel detects HBV antibodies and antigens in a blood sample to screen for the Hepatitis B virus.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Hepatitis B (HBV) Blood Test Panel to detect HBV antibodies and antigens in a blood sample to screen for the Hepatitis B virus. HBV is a viral infection that is characterized by inflammation of the liver. Most frequently, it is spread from blood-to-blood contact but may be transmitted through other bodily fluids. Typical forms of exposure to HBV vary depending on the geographical area but often occur during childbirth, when sharing needles for intravenous drug use, or during unprotected sex. An HBV infection can be either acute or chronic. Acute HBV is a short-term infection. Most individuals usually recover entirely from acute HBV without treatment within a few weeks to six months. However, about 5-10% of individuals with acute HBV develop chronic HBV, a long-term infection lasting six months or longer. Individuals with chronic HBV are at an increased risk of developing complications, such as severe damage to the liver, liver failure, and liver cancer. This panel detects the presence of hepatitis B antibodies and antigens, which can indicate past exposure to HBV or immunity to the virus.
Hepatitis B Blood Test Panel includes:
Anti-Hepatitis B Core Antigen - is an antibody to the hepatitis B core antigen. The core antigen is found on virus particles but will disappear early in infection. This antibody is produced during and after an acute HBV infection. However, it usually is found in chronic HBV carriers and those who have cleared the virus and usually persists for life. Anti-HBc testing is either specific for the IgM antibody, anti-HBc, IgM, which will indicate acute infection, or measures total antibody, anti-HBC, which will mean a past infection, either acute or chronic.
Hepatitis B Surface Antibody (anti-HBs) - is the most common HBV test. Its presence will indicate previous exposure to HBV, but the virus is no longer present, and the person cannot pass it on to others. The antibody will also protect the body from future HBV infection. In addition to exposure to HBV, these antibodies can also be acquired from successful vaccination. This test is performed to determine the need for vaccination (if anti-HBs are absent) or following the completion of vaccination against the disease or an active infection.
Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) - is a protein antigen HBV produces. This antigen is the earliest indicator of acute hepatitis B and often identifies infected people before symptoms appear. HBsAg will disappear from the blood during the recovery period. However, in some people (those infected as children or those with a weak immune system, such as those with AIDS), chronic infection with HBV may occur, and HBsAg will remain positive.
When should I order a Hepatitis B (HBV) Blood Test Panel?
Individuals interested in determining their immunity to Hepatitis B may order this test. Individuals should also note that this test cannot distinguish between a past or current infection; therefore, a positive result may indicate active infection and not immunity. However, suppose an active infection is not suspected based on the individual’s history, clinical signs, and other laboratory results. In that case, a positive IgG result is likely due to past infection, and the individual is assumed to be immune to the disease. Individuals are advised to follow up with their doctor or healthcare provider if they have significant concerns or questions about their results.
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