Hepatitis B and C results
Oct 28, 2012
Doctor, are my results conclusive:
12 weeks Roche Elecsys HBsAg NON REACTIVE 12 weeks Abbott CMIA Total anti HBcAb NON REACTIVE 12 weeks Abbott CMIA HBsAb 0.00 12 weeks Abbott Architect CMIA Total anti HCV 0.10 NON REACTIVE
Should i retest or am i free of Hep B and Hep C?
Response from Dr. Taylor
There are many blood tests that tell us about viral hepatitis, so the results may be confusing.
Your three basic tests for hepatitis B infection are negative. The surface antigen, sAg, typically denotes that a hepatitis B infection is present. The core antibody, cAb, tells of an exposure. The surface antibody, sAb, means that there is protection against hepatitis B. Therefore one possibility is that you do not have chronic hepatitis B nor have you been exposed.
The other possibility is that you have recently been infected, and your immune system is clearing away the infection on its own. Typically in this case we see the loss of the sAg, so this result is negative, while it may take some time to make the SAb. Sometimes this is called the, 'window period,' when there is a period of time before the protective SAb develops.
The way to distinguish between these two possibilities is get a blood test for IgM antibodies against hepatitis B core antigen (IgM anti-HBc). If this blood test is negative, along with your other results, you do not have a recent hepatitis B infection. In this case the best thing to do is to get vaccinated against hepatitis B This vaccine is one of the oldest, safest, most effective vaccines known to humankind. All people should be vaccinated against hepatitis B unless they are already infected with hepatitis B or have an allergy to the vaccine. If you do not have access to this test, yes you should have the blood tests repeated in 3-6 months, and in the meantime start the vaccination series.
Your hepatitis C antibody test is also negative. This may mean that you have not been exposed at all. If you had a recent potential exposure, this test may remain negative for weeks to months and yes you should be retested in 3-6 months. It is also important to talk with your doctor about how to keep from getting hepatitis C infection if you are not infected, as there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C.
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