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Acquiring Hepatitis and detecting it???
Jun 29, 2000

Dr,

I have a few questions for you:

1- How long after an incident would HepB and/or HepC be detectable thru antibody testing? I understand most sites recommend 6 months -- any chances for it to take longer and how common is that?

2- Some organizations put the number of people who have come in contact of HepB (i.e HBsAg neg and AntiHBs pos)at as high as 2 Billion Worldwide. My question is: Could a mother who is (HBsAg - and AntiHBs +), pass on the antibodies to the child. This might explain such a high number?

3- Why such high numbers for "past" infected people with HB (i.e not carriers), and BTW the numbers in the US seem to be around 5% of the population... why would the red cross refuse blood in the case of (AntiHBc +, AnitHBs +, HbsAg-; meaning past infection)...wouldn't this mean refusing a LOT of blood for no apparent danger?

Thank You very much for your help.

Response from Dr. Dieterich

Antibodies appear anywhere from 3-6 months after infection. If you want to know sooner, PCR would be positive 2-4 weeks after infection.

Mothers do pass on antibodies to their children, but they last only about a year, so that would not explain large numbers of SAb + people. Most people (85%) who get HBV recover. That is what is probably responsible.

Before there was hepatitis C testing, the blood banks used surrogate markers for HCV and HBCAb and ALT elevation were the ones. Yes, this does take a lot of blood out of the circulation. DTD



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