Jul 8, 2008
Hi...I just want to say great job on the site and thank you for the time you invest to answer questions about hep b!! My question is is there a difference between AntiHbc and AntiHbc(IgG and IgM) or are they both the same? Can one differentiate if someone had hep b in the past or do both tests do the same?
Response from Dr. McGovern
Thank you for your kind comments. It is very gratifying to hear.
Your question is a very important one:
Hepatitis B core IgM is ONLY found in acute infection.
The IgM fraction switches to an IgG fraction as the person resolves their infection. However the same switch can also occur in patients who develop chronic infection. The difference is that the person who clears does NOT have any HBV DNA in their bloodstream and eventually makes surface antibodies.
The person who develops chronic infection has viremia (HBV DNA in their blood) and never develops surface antibodies.
Hope this clears up the confusion for you and others.
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