hepatitis B terminology
Jan 22, 2011
what is hbsag, hbsab, hbeag, precore mutation, hbcab, antihbc? what is the significance of this tests?
Response from Dr. McGovern
HBsAg is the hepatitis B surface antigen. This is a protein that is produced by the virus in acute and chronic infection.
HBsAb is the hepatitis B surface antibody, which can be positive after vaccination or after natural infection.
HBeAg is a protein produced during chronic infection. It usually means that the patient has a lot of virus in their bloodstream.
HBcAb means hepatitis B core antibodies...These are antibodies which are produced after infection and last for life. They can occur in patients with chronic infection or in those who cleared their infection.
A precore mutation refers to the ability of the virus to mutate so that you may no longer detect HBeAg, but the patient still has a lot of virus in their blood. You can check this by doing a HBV DNA test.
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