Interpreting Hep B tests
Apr 7, 2013
As part of pre-employment medical screen I received the following results. HBsAg, Serum 0.19 (negative). HBV DNA 1.7 x 10^2 IU/ml (positive). I was not given the full Hep B workup yet, and I plan a liver enzyme analysis in the near future. I currently work in the Middle East a received the TwinRex vaccination before arriving 1.5 years ago. I have been negative on two previous Hep B tests in the last two years, although I don't believe the DNA method was used.
What do the levels of the DNA test indicate and how urgent is it to get the anti-HB and anti-Hbc?
I greatly appreciate your response.
Response from Dr. Holodniy
This result could represent occult HBV infection, which is seen not infrequently in people who have a negative HBV surface antigen test, yet have a positive HBV DNA test. The DNA copy number is usually very low as in your case. The HBV surface and core antibody tests may or may not be positive in such cases. So no, it is not urgent to get these tests.
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