Infectious Disease Profile
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis in the world but other infections, toxic substances (e.g. alcohol, certain drugs), and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.
There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. These 5 types are of greatest concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause and the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread. In particular, types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.
Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C and D usually occur as a result of parenteral contact with infected body fluids. Common modes of transmission for these viruses include receipt of contaminated blood or blood products, invasive medical procedures using contaminated equipment and for hepatitis B transmission from mother to baby at birth, from family member to child, and also by sexual contact.
Beta-2 Microglobulin, SerumOptimal range: 0.6 - 2.4 mg/L
Because Beta-2 Microglobulin is increased with blood cell cancers, it may be useful as a tumor marker. Though it can be used to assess kidney function as well.LEARN MORE
Free Kappa Lt Chains, SerumOptimal range: 3.3 - 19.4 mg/L
Light chains are proteins produced by immune cells called plasma cells. Also called kappa light chains, they link together with other proteins (heavy chains) to form immunoglobulins (= antibodies) that target and neutralize specific threats to the body (= bacteria & viruses).LEARN MORE
Free Lambda Lt Chains, SerumOptimal range: 5.71 - 26.3 mg/L
Light chains are proteins produced by immune cells called plasma cells. Also called “Free Lambda Light Chains” they link together with other proteins (heavy chains) to form immunoglobulins (= antibodies) that target and neutralize specific threats to the body (= bacteria & viruses).LEARN MORE
HCV RNA, Quantitative Real Time PCROptimal range: 0 - 15 IU/ml
The viral load of hepatitis C refers to the amount of virus present in the bloodstream. The quantitative HCV RNA tests measure the amount of hepatitis C virus in the blood. The result will be an exact number, such as "1,215,422 IU/L." Many people refer to the quantitative measurement as the hepatitis C "viral load."LEARN MORE
Hepatitis A Virus AntibodyOptimal range: 0 - 1 index
Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. This tests for the presence of hepatitis A antibodies. Elevated levels reflect immunity either through previous vaccination or exposure to the illness.
Measures both IgG and IgM forms of the antibody, but does not differentiate between these two forms. Hepatitis A antibody of IgG type is indicative of old infection and is found in almost 50% of adults.
Rapid plasma reagin (RPR)Optimal range: 0 - 0.001 Units
The rapid plasma reagin (RPR) is a test used to screen for syphilis. The RPR test measures IgM and IgG antibodies to lipoidal material released from damaged host cells as well as to lipoprotein-like material, and possibly cardiolipin released from the treponemes.LEARN MORE