The Meaning of Different Hepatitis B tests

In diagnosing Hepatitis B infection, there are series of tests that a patient must have to go through. These series of tests are called serologic panel. These tests are used by doctors to accurately determine the current stage of Hepatitis B infection that a patient has. Through a series of test, a doctor can determine if the Hepatitis B infection is just a current one or a dormant one that has been in the patient’s blood for some time now.

The Serologic Panel Tests

  1. HBsAg – This is also known as hepatitis B surface antigen and this test aims to find the protein on the surface of the molecules of Hepatitis B virus. This protein trigger’s the immune system of the body to respond to the infection and with a healthy immune system, it can fight off the infection hence it produces antibodies that are anti-HBs. This is the same formula and antigen that Hepatitis B vaccine uses.
  2. Anti-HBs – This is also known as HBsAb or Hepatitis B surface antibody). This test will determine if your body is responding well to the medication that you are currently taking. If you are not exposed to the virus, this test will determine if your body can produce hepatitis B surface antigen that can protect you from the virus.
  3. Anti-HBc - This is also known as HBcAb, hepatitis B core antibody. This test will determine if your body is still producing an antibody that fights Hepatitis B infection. The body is supposed to produce an antibody for Hepatitis B virus. This means that once you are infected with Hepatitis B virus, your test for Anti-HBc will be positive forever.
  4. IgM anti-HBc – This is the test that determines the antibody type that your body is producing. If your body is producing antibodies, it means that it is fighting infection.
READ
Hepatitis B Vaccination Ongoing In Uganda

The six interpretations of Serologic Panel Tests

Test Result
HBsAg Negative
anti-HBs Negative
anti-HBc Negative
Interpretation: It means that you are at risk of getting Hepatitis B infection. Get vaccinated as soon as you can.

 

Test Result
HBsAg Negative
anti-HBs Positive
anti-HBc Positive
Interpretation:  you had a natural infection before and you are now immune to the virus. It shows that the core antibody is present because of infection and not vaccination though. Your infection has been cleared though so nothing to worry about.

 

Test Result
HBsAg Negative
anti-HBc Negative
anti-HBs Positive
Interpretation:  You had been vaccinated is immune to the virus. Through this test, your doctor would know if you are at risk or not and since you had been vaccinated, you are protected.

 

Test Result
HBsAg Positive
anti-HBc Positive
IgM anti-HBc Positive
anti-HBs Negative
Interpretation:  This shows that you have an infection and it is acute.

 

Test Result
HBsAg Positive
anti-HBc Positive
IgM anti-HBc Negative
anti-HBs Negative
Interpretation:  This shows that you have an infection and it is chronic.

 

Test Result
HBsAg Negative
anti-HBc Positive
anti-HBs Negative
Interpretation:  This shows that you have an infection and it is now being cleared or that your core antibody test is false. This also shows that your body is not immune to Hepatitis B virus.