Hepatitis B Test
Hepatitis B test is used to find substances in the blood sample that show whether the infection is active or it occurred in the past. The test can look for different markers of disease. From the CDC:
Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B is transmitted when blood, semen, or another body fluid from a person infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sexual contact; sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; or from mother to baby at birth. For some people, hepatitis B is an acute, or short-term, illness but for others, it can become a long-term, chronic infection. Risk for chronic infection is related to age at infection: approximately 90% of infected infants become chronically infected, compared with 2%–6% of adults. Chronic Hepatitis B can lead to serious health issues, like cirrhosis or liver cancer. The best way to prevent Hepatitis B is by getting vaccinated.
What tests are available?
Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is one of the most standard tests for this infection. This antigen can be present before the symptoms of this disease are present. Now, if it’s present for six months, then you have a chronic HBV infection. It means that you can spread this virus to others throughout your life.
Another available test is hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb). It’s not as common as HBsAg. However, it’s vital to know if the infection is at the end of its active stage. If it is, then you’re no longer considered as contagious. It means you can’t pass the infection to others.
The HBsAb test is used to know whether you have the antibody after you’ve received a series of HBV vaccine series. Now, if the test showed that you have both the antibodies and antigen, then you’re still considered as contagious.
Hepatitis B Treatment and Consequences
What is HBV DNA test?
It’s another test for hepatitis B that checks for the DNA of the HB virus. The test measures the amount of this genetic material is present in your body. If it’s at a high level, it means that the virus is still multiplying, and you can spread the disease. An increased viral DNA level could mean that you’re at high risk for a liver damage. Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medicine.
This test is also utilized to know whether or not the treat for your chronic HBV infection is effective. Compared with HBeAg test, DNA testing for HBV is more sensitive.
The following tests are also done but not as often as those tests above: