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puzzling hep B result for myinfant
Mar 20, 2011

After giving birth to my baby and sending of the cord blood to a cordbank I received a letter that they had done 2 tests regarding Hep B; surface antigen and core antibody. I tested negative for surface antigen but positive for core antibody. I didnt remember ever been exposed but I requested medical files and noted that in August 1991 I was exposed and tested positive for surface antigen and 2 weeks later I tested negative for surface antigen and the same for the next 2 months and then it was "written of" as resolved. I freaked out and was tested again (results not back) and had my baby tested. His results are back and it said his surface antigen was negative, his surface antigen antibody was positive but that his core antibody was also positive. I am very puzzled by this results. To add; I was also tested in beginning of pregnancy and my surface antigen was negative, my baby is 1 month and did receive the vaccine the day he was born. Help please

Response from Dr. McGovern

Here are my answers to your questions and concerns....

As for you....I would simply check to see if your surface antibody is also positive. If so...you cleared the virus in the past and would not be at risk of passing hepatitis B to your baby or your spouse. I suspect that your episode of infection in 1991 resulted in clearance of the virus.

As for your baby....The positive core may represent passive transfer of the antibody from you to your baby....I suspect that will be negative in about a year.

Your baby was immunized at birth....There must have been some concern about passing hepatitis B infection...However, with a negative surface antigen in you, I would not consider this a risk....

Hepatitis B serologies are very confusing...However, again, with a HBsAg that is negative, I want to assure you that your baby will be fine.



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