Hepatitis B Virus

Laboratory investigation

HBsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen). This indicates active disease HBV. This is present for 1-6 months in acute disease. Persistence for >6 months indicates chronic infection

Anti-HBs (Anti-surface antigen antibodies). This indicates immunity to HBV, either from past infection or immunisation. Absent in chronic HBV infections

Anti-HBc (Anti-core antigen antibodies). Indicates previous or current infection. IgM is present earliest, and indicates current infection. IgG appears later, and persists lifelong, even after acute infection.

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