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

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).


Free Lambda Lt Chains, Serum

Optimal 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).


HCV RNA, Quantitative Real Time PCR

Optimal 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."


Hep C Virus Ab

Optimal range: 0 - 0.9 Units

Hepatitis A Virus Antibody

Optimal 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.



Hepatitis B Surface Antibody

Optimal range: 0 - 7.5 index

The hepatitis B surface antibody test (HBsAb), looks for antibodies that your immune system makes in response to the surface protein of the hepatitis B virus. 


This assay can be used in conjunction with other serological and clinical information to diagnose individuals with acute or chronic hepatitis B infection. This assay may also be used to screen for hepatitis B infection in pregnant women to identify neonates who are at risk of acquiring hepatitis B during the perinatal period.


Hepatitis C Virus Antibody

Optimal range: 0 - 0.8 index

Kappa/Lambda Ratio, Serum

Optimal range: 0.26 - 1.65 Ratio

Free kappa/lambda ratio in serum of normal individuals is 0.26-1.65.

Measurement of free light chain concentration in serum is useful for diagnosis, prognosis, monitoring disease activity and following response to therapy of these disorders.


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. 


West Nile Virus AB (IgG), Serum

Optimal range: 0 - 1.3 index

West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus (single-stranded RNA) that primarily infects birds but can also infect humans and horses.