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.


HBsAg Screen

Optimal range: 0 - 0 %

Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is a distinctive serological marker of acute or chronic hepatitis B infection. HBsAg is the first antigen to appear following infection with HBV and is generally detected 1-10 weeks after the onset of clinical symptoms. HBsAg assays are routinely used to diagnose suspected HBV infection and monitor the status of infected individuals to determine whether the infection has resolved or the patient has become a chronic carrier of the virus.


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 A Ab, IgM

Optimal range: 0 - 0 %

What is hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a result of infection with the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness causing liver failure. Most people infected with the virus get well within 6 months. However, hepatitis A can be serious for older people and people who already have liver disease such as hepatitis B or C.


Hep B Core Ab, IgM

Optimal range: 0 - 0 %

Anti-HBc IgM increases rapidly, peaks during the acute infection stage of HBV infection, and then falls to a relatively low level as the patient recovers or becomes a chronic carrier. Anti-HBc IgM is useful in the diagnosis of acute HBV infection even when HBsAg concentrations are below the sensitivity of the diagnostic assay. The presence of anti-HBc IgM and anti-HBc IgG is characteristic of acute infection, while the presence of anti-HBc IgG without anti-HBc IgM is characteristic of chronic or recovered stages of HBV infection. The use of other viral markers such as HBsAg, anti-HBs, and anti-HBc total to differentiate acute from chronic hepatitis B is inconclusive because most of these markers are alsoseen in chronic infection.


Hep B Core Ab, Tot

Optimal range: 0 - 0 %

Hep B Core Ab, Tot [aka Total antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc)] appears at the onset of symptoms in acute hepatitis B, is a measure of both IgM and IgG, and persists for life. The presence of total anti-HBc indicates previous or ongoing infection with hepatitis B virus in an undefined time frame. People who have immunity to hepatitis B from a vaccine do not develop anti-HBc.


Hep C Virus Ab

Optimal range: 0 - 0.9 %

A blood test, called an HCV antibody test, is used to find out if someone has ever been infected with the hepatitis C virus. The HCV antibody test, sometimes called the anti-HCV test, looks for antibodies to the hepatitis C virus in blood. Antibodies are chemicals released into the bloodstream when someone gets infected. Test results can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to come back.

Most people who get infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) develop a chronic, or lifelong, infection. Left untreated, chronic hepatitis C can cause serious health problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even death. People can live without symptoms or feeling sick, so testing is the only way to know if you have hepatitis C. Getting tested is important to find out if you are infected so you can get lifesaving treatment that can cure hepatitis C.


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 Surf Ab Quant

Optimal range: 9.9 - 100 mIU/ml

Presence of antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) is used to determine immune status to HBV or disease progression in individuals infected with HBV. Anti-HBs levels can be measured to determine if vaccination is needed, or following a vaccination regimen, to determine if protective immunity has been achieved.

- Anti-HBs usually can be detected several weeks to several months after HBsAg is no longer found, and it may persist for many years or for life after acute infection has been resolved.

- It may disappear in some patients, with only antibody to core remaining.

- People with this antibody are not overtly infectious.

- Presence of the antibody without the presence of the antigen is evidence for immunity from reinfection, with virus of the same subtype.


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. 

The presence of anti-HBs is generally interpreted as indicating recovery and immunity from hepatitis B virus infection.

Anti-HBs also develops in a person who has been successfully vaccinated against hepatitis B. Among vaccine responders who completed a vaccine series, anti-HBs levels can decline over time, however the majority are still immune and will mount a response when exposed to HBV.

< 10 mIU/mL is considered nonreactive for antibodies agains Hepatitis B surface antigen.

>= 10 mIU/mL is considered reactive for antibodies against Heptitis B surface antigen


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

HIV-1/HIV-2 Antibodies -EIA

Optimal range: 0 - 1 index

This test looks for HIV infection in your blood or saliva.

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. About 1 in 5 people who are infected with HIV don't know it because they may not have symptoms. HIV comes in 2 forms:

  • HIV-1. This type is found worldwide.

  • HIV-2. This type is mainly found in western Africa. But it has spread to the U.S.

This test is one of several tests that look for HIV infection. Some tests take a few days for results to come back. Rapid HIV tests can give your results in about 20 minutes. Getting an early diagnosis of HIV is important because you can start treatment early and also take steps to keep from spreading the virus to others.


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.