How Do Hepatitis C Virus Antibodies Work In The Body?
The liver is one of the major organs of the body whose function is mainly the detoxification of ingested substances in the body, the liver functions effectively to get rid of toxic materials from the body and also produces bile which is used for the digestion of fats. In an event of liver damage, the body becomes open to various toxic materials that can cause outright damage to other organs. Notably, one of the causes of liver damage is the hepatitis virus.
Hepatitis virus causes an inflammation in the liver and the condition is known as HEPATITIS; although several other causes aside hepatitis virus have been attributed to be the cause of the hepatitis infection, scientists now believe that mechanical stress can also lead to hepatitis infection. Hepatitis cause great damage to the liver and can as well lead to a total shutdown of the liver if not managed properly.
In the event of hepatitis in the liver, the body provides an immune response, as always with other infections in the body, to combat the infection by producing tiny proteinous antibodies against the hepatitis infection. The antibodies generated play a significant role in diagnosing hepatitis as well as further treatment of the disease.
It is imperative to know that hepatitis C is one of the 5 types of hepatitis virus. The 5 types of viral hepatitis include:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis D
- Hepatitis E
Of the 5, hepatitis C virus (HCV) happens to be the most prevalent viral infection in the United States of America; HCV can be transmitted majorly via body fluids and sexual intercourse, which is why the hepatitis infection is also categorized as a Sexually Transmitted Infection. It has been recorded that the prevalence of HCV in the United States stands at about 2.7 to 3.9 million people living with the viral infection.
Reasons for the generation of antibodies by the body
One very important point to note is the fact that as we come in contact with infectious agents almost every day, we have special confidence in our body to a large extent because our body provides immediate response to those foreign materials through different methods, one of which is the generation of antibodies. Several reasons and advantages exist for the generation of antibodies, but few will be discussed here.
- The generation of antibodies is a way by which the body responds to pathogenic entry which can be deadly if not immediately tackled.
- The generation of antibodies produces allergic reactions to some substances which would be terribly harmful to the body on continuous consumption.
- The fusion of antibody and antigen (virus, bacteria etc.) gives rise to a complex which is presented to other cells for complete destruction.
- The generated substances serve as military personnel of the body by getting rid of unwanted substances that are naturally harmful to the body.
- The generated antibodies also help in the determination of the actual kind of infection in the body during diagnosis.
Facts about HCV antibodies
Since it is a fact that the body produces antibodies for all kind of infections, the antibodies produced for hepatitis C virus is unique in its operation. Here are some facts associated with the antibodies generated for hepatitis C virus.
- Hepatitis C antibodies are generated immediately the virus enters the body.
- The antibodies of Hepatitis C are the basis of laboratory diagnosis of the infection.
- The presence of HCV antibodies in the body is an indication that the virus has gained entry into the body while the absence of HCV antibodies confirms that the virus has not entered into the body.
- Even after successful treatment of the viral infection, the antibodies can still be found in the body. In this case, the better way to confirm if the virus has been eradicated from the body after treatment is for the physician to request that a Hepatitis C RNA test be carried out on the just treated patient.
- The antibodies generated are not being destroyed by the virus, unlike HIV which destroys the antibodies meant to destroy it. However, the virus is not neutralized by the antibodies and the generated antibodies cannot provide immunity against the viral infection.
- During the first 2 months of infection, HCV antibodies are usually not visible in the blood of the infected person.
- Unlike some other STDs, the HCV infection is curable with the right prescription and medication.
- Apart from antibodies test, molecular test methods can also be used for the determination of the presence of HCV in the body.
The limits to which medical sciences can achieve in recent times still continue to know no bounds. One can, therefore, be a beneficiary of these advancements if one adheres strictly to the healthcare personnel’s instruction and management of all kinds of medical conditions subject to the supervision of the doctor.