Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Blood Test, Qualitative
Presence of anti-HBs is an indicator of the clinical recovery and subsequent immunity to hepatitis B virus. This test is useful for evaluation of possible immunity in individuals who are at increased risks for exposure to the hepatitis B (ie, venipuncturists, hemodialysis unit personnel, etc). Evaluates the need for hepatitis B immune globulin after needlestick injury and evaluates the need for hepatitis B vaccine and follow immune status after hepatitis B vaccine.
Presence of anti-HBs is not an absolute indicator of resolved hepatitis infection, nor of protection from future infection. Since there are different serologic subtypes of hepatitis B virus, it is possible (and has been reported) for a patient to have antibody to one surface antigen type and to be acutely infected with virus of a different subtype. Thus, a patient may have coexisting HBsAg and anti-HBs. Transfused individuals or hemophiliacs receiving plasma components may give false-positive tests for antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen.
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