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Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Hepatitis A and B antibody test result, how to interperte it


 Blue Fish - Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:04 pm

I just have had antibody tests for Hepatitis A and B.

I had two Hep A vaccinations ( 10 years ago), and four Hep B vaccinations (three
of them ten years ago and one just three months ago/three months before the
antibody test).

The results of the antibody concentrations were;
Ab anti HAV; 65mUl/ml and Ab anti HBs 5011 U/L.

Does this just mean that I am immune due to the vaccinations, or are the results unnaturaly high?
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:24 pm

Hello Blue Fish,

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious infection of the liver by the HepA Virus. It causes inflammation that affects liver function. Hepatitis A does not have a chronic stage, isn't progressive or cause permanent liver damage. The person with Hepatitis A is very ill during the course of the disease. Symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of skin and the eyes), fever, pain in the abdomen and/or sharp pains in the upper right abdomen, nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, itching, dark amber urine caused by bile, and
light colored feces due to the lack of bilirubin in bile due to inadequate liver function.

Hepatitis B is also a contagious infection, caused by the HepB Virus. It also causes inflammation of the liver, known as hepatitis. Symptoms include malaise or a general feeling of ill health, nausea, vomiting, body aches, fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, and jaundice. Itchy skin can also occur. The illness lasts for several weeks and usually gradually improves. It can be totally asymptomatic and be unrecognized, though complications can still occur without symptoms. Some people have a more severe infection, which can lead to death. Chronic Hepatitis B may lead to cirrhosis of the liver and to liver cancer.

Both Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccination. Persons who have had the disease(s) develop antibodies which prevent reinfection by the viruses, although they may already have developed complications from the initial infection.

Laboratory test results are usually given as "positive" or "negative". Reference ranges can vary by laboratory and type of test that is used, when serum amounts are given. If a person has had vaccination for either or both diseases, a serum amount given will usually mean it is positive for successful vaccination result. In your case, I would interpret your results as that you have been successfully immunized against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, as in some laboratories the high normal level can be as high as 800. If you have been given a laboratory result on a sheet of paper, it should include the normal reference range for the test given and I would expect that the numbers you were given would fall into the normal reference range. If you are confused by the reference range numbers and the relationship of your numbers to them, you can provide them to me and I'll help you understand them, or if you prefer, you can ask for clarification from your doctor or even from the laboratory. If you suspect that you have an infection despite vaccination (which would be extremely unlikely!), please see your doctor right away.

I hope all this information has been helpful to you and that I've covered the information that you need.

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