Hepatitis Blood Testing

About Hepatitis Screening Blood Testing

It is not uncommon to get confused when inquiring about blood testing to diagnose one of the many forms of Hepatitis. There is Hepatitis A, B, C and others that all produce different antibodies, therefore requiring different types of blood tests or screening processes. It is a good idea to read up on each of the tests and have a general knowledge before speaking with the doctor or reviewing the results. Here is a little more about each one of the tests.

Hepatitis A Antibody Blood Test

This antibody blood test is used to measure the amount of acute Hepatitis A. It actually measures the IgM antibody to help physicians make the diagnosis of the Hepatitis A virus. The IgM is the initial antibody that the body produces to help fight the virus. In the later stages of the Hepatitis an antibody known as IgC develops and can remain present for several years. There is a vaccine against Hepatitis A and the blood tests can result in differing levels after an individual has received them. If the blood test is found to be positive the individual is diagnosed with the HAV infection. When the HAV IgM is negative, but the total HAV antibody is positive it signifies that the infection is not active, but the individual has had a previous exposure.

Hepatitis B Blood Test

The Hepatitis B blood test refers to a noted response or elevation of the HBsAb surface antibody in the blood stream. This signifies that the individual is reactive and actually immune to the Hepatitis B virus and is not contagious. This generally occurs when the virus has cleared or the individual has received the Hepatitis B vaccine.

Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Blood Testing

The Hepatitis B surface antigen is commonly referred to as the HBsAG on blood test results. What it refers to is the outer surface of the Hepatitis virus that causes the production of the antibody. When the HBsAg test has a positive result it means that the individual is infected with the Hepatitis B virus and is contagious.

Hepatitis C Virus Blood Tests

The Hepatitis C blood test measures the presence and level of the antibodies that the body produces to fight the virus. Some testing measures what is known as viral RNA to help diagnose the particular type of virus present. The blood testing results are displayed in either positive or negative, meaning that the antibody is either present and the individual is infected or negative for no infection. The HCV RNA blood test is one that is specially designed to find the active virus particles of the Hepatitis C. This test is extremely accurate and used through a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.

While Hepatitis blood testing is common it is not recommended for the general public unless there has been exposure, the individual is symptomatic or they have engaged in risky behavior. If any of those statements are true, it is a good idea to have a complete blood testing series to determine if anyone of the Hepatitis viruses is active in the blood stream. Early diagnosis and proper medical care can assist in the health of the individual, as well as prevent any further adverse conditions or diseases.