Various tests for Hepatitis B virusDuring these tests, the doctors will be looking for different markets or infection signs. Viruses or bacteria make markets known as antigens and when HBV antigens are present, this means that the body still has HBV virus. The body fights infection by producing proteins known as antibodies and when HBV antibodies are present in the blood; this means that you have been exposed to the virus.While the infection might have happened a long time ago and you are now better, there is still likelihood that you could still be having an infection currently. When DNA for HBV is revealed in the tests, this means that your body is harboring the virus. It is very important that the actual hepatitis virus that is causing the infection is identified so that the right treatment is chosen.

Types of HBV tests

Transmission of HBV happens when body fluids are infected, which includes semen, vaginal fluids and blood. A pregnant mother can transmit it to the unborn child during birth. Different types of HBV tests are done with the first one being HBsAg- Hepatitis B surface antigen, which is ideally the earliest sign to show that an active infection by hepatitis virus exists in the body. The next test is HBsAb- Hepatitis B Surface antibody that appears four weeks after the disappearance of HBsAg. When this antibody is present, it means that the infection is finally becoming inactive and the virus can’t be passed to others.
HBeAg- Hepatitis B e-antigen is the next test and this HBV protein is present only when an active infection by HBV virus is present. This test plays a crucial role in determining the extent of your contagiousness and also helps in monitoring if the treatment given is effective or not. Finally, there are the HBV DNA testing tests that aim at checking genetic material of HBV. It in other words measures the amount of genetic material present. When the level is high, this means that the HBV is multiplying increasingly and you could be very contagious. Other HBV tests undertaken but, which are less common include HBcAb- hepatitis B core antibody, HBcAbIgm- Hepatitis B core antibody and HBeAb- hepatitis B e-antibody.

Why is HBV testing so important?

To start with, these tests are done as a way of identifying the type of HBV infection and will provide info on whether the infection occurred in the past or just recently. Some tests also show the effectiveness of the live and its functioning level and this helps in making better treatment decisions. HBV tests also help in screening people who are likely to spread hepatitis B infection like nurses, doctors and nurses. Donor organs and blood donors are also screened through HBV tests to minimize spreading of hepatitis B.