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, Serum

Optimal 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.


Free Kappa Lt Chains, Serum

Optimal range: 3.3 - 19.4 mg/L

Free Lambda Lt Chains, Serum

Optimal range: 5.71 - 26.3 mg/L

Hep C Virus Ab

Optimal range: 0 - 0.9 Units

Hepatitis A Virus Antibody

Optimal range: 0 - 1 index

Hepatitis B Surface Antibody

Optimal range: 0 - 7.5 index

Hepatitis C Virus Antibody

Optimal range: 0 - 0.8 index

Kappa/Lambda Ratio, Serum

Optimal range: 0.26 - 1.65 Ratio