What Do My Hepatitis B Tests Mean?
Understanding your Hepatitis B blood test results can be confusing at times. When your blood test comes positive for Hepatitis B, what does it exactly mean- Do you have a new infection? Have you recovered from a past infection? Do you have a chronic infection? or Simply is it positive because you are successfully vaccinated for Hepatitis B? Read on to know more:
Basic Hepatitis B blood tests:
1) HBsAg (Hepatitis B surface Antigen)
This is the protein on the surface of the hepatitis B virus. An antigen is any foreign substance in the body.
A “positive” or “reactive” HBsAg test result means that you are infected with the hepatitis B virus. This can be an “acute (recent)” or a “chronic (long drawn)” infection. Infected people can pass the virus on to others through their blood or other body fluids.
2) HBsAb or anti-HBs (Hepatitis B surface Antibody)
The body normally produces antibodies to any foreign substance (antigen) as part of a normal immune response in order to protect you from future infection.
Antibodies to Hepatitis antigen appear in blood when a person has recovered from an acute infection and cleared the virus (usually within six months) or responded successfully to the hepatitis B vaccine shots.
A “positive” or “reactive” HBsAb (or anti-HBs) test result indicates that you are “immune” to any future hepatitis B infection and you are no longer contagious.
3) HBeAg (Hepatitis B envelope Antigen): This is found in the blood during acute and chronic hepatitis B infection.
The presence of Hepatitis B envelope antigen (HBeAg) indicates that the virus is replicating and the infected individual has high levels of HBV. The presence or absence of HBeAg decides the treatment strategy in chronic Hepatitis B.
4) Anti-HBe (Hepatitis B envelope Antibody): This is produced by the immune system temporarily during acute HBV infection.
5) HBcAb or anti-HBc (Hepatitis B core Antibody)
It is an antibody that is produced in response to the core-antigen, a component of the hepatitis B virus. This is not a protective antibody. In fact, it is usually present in those chronically infected with hepatitis B.
A “positive” or “reactive” HBcAb (or anti-HBc) test result indicates a past or present infection, but it could also be a false positive.
6) HBV DNA quantization (Viral load):
HBV DNA correlates with levels of circulating viral particles. A high level of HBV DNA indicates an active phase of the disease. Viral load helps in treatment strategy in chronic hepatitis.
Different blood tests or combinations of tests are used to identify different phases of HBV infection:
Hepatitis B tests interpretation
|HBsAg||Negative||Susceptible to Hepatitis B infection|
|HBsAg||Negative||Immune due to a past natural infection|
|HBsAg||Negative||Immune due to Hepatitis B vaccination|
|HBsAg||Negative||Interpretation unclear; four possibilities:|
|Anti-HBc||Positive||1. Resolved infection (most common)|
|Anti-HBs||negative||2. False-positive anti-HBc, thus susceptible|
|3. “Low level” chronic infection|
|4. Resolving acute infection|
- You may get recurrent liver infections, which if untreated eventually results in liver cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer. If the blood test shows that you are susceptible then you should protect yourself through vaccination.
- If you have “recovered” from an infection, which means you are immune due to natural infection then you don’t need the vaccine because you are already protected.
- If you have an acute hepatitis B infection, then you should find a good medical care, avoid spreading the virus to others, and make sure your loved ones are tested and vaccinated.
- If you are chronically infected, that means you are a chronic carrier for hepatitis B. There are chances of transmission of virus from your blood or body fluids to others.
Conventional therapy depends on which phase of the disease you are. It usually includes antiviral and immunosuppressant medicines.
Homeopathy works efficiently in chronic cases of hepatitis B. Homoeopathic medicines will improve your vitality and will boost your immune system and can control recurrent infections.
Dr. Rajesh Shah has been treating chronic diseases such as Hepatitis B for more than 30 years now. With the help of research-based medicines at lifeforce, Viral load (HBV DNA) can be kept under control and eventually it can also help in delaying the complications of Hepatitis B (such as cirrhosis and liver cancer) as far as possible.
To know more about how you can be helped with homeopathic treatment for your hepatitis B leave us your contact details below. Alternately you can give us a call on +91-22-66888888 or write into us at email@example.com
– Dr. Aparna Hingmire, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah, Team LifeForce
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