Am I carrying the hepatitis B virus?
Q: Two years ago I had donated my blood but after three days I was told that my blood was not used as it contained HBc AD (2gm + 2gG) reactive. Having no peace of mind, after four months, I had all my three doses of Hebatitis B vaccination. After this, I had my two children (one 7 years old boy & another 3 years daughter) and wife take this Hebatitis B vaccination (all three dose). What is this disease? Will this affect me and my family in the future? Is it a sex related? Do I need to undergo any further blood test? Will my wife and children be safe? Please help me.
A:Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is transmitted by blood and sexually. The outcome of the infection depends on the interaction between the virus and the host’s immunity and may manifest as an acute symptomatic disease (acute hepatitis) or an asymptomatic disease (immune to HBV or a chronic carrier state). Some of these patients go on to develop cirrhosis of the liver and hepatocellular carcinoma. There are many markers of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and they connote different things. In general, the following is the interpretation of various markers: - Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg): Marker of current infection (acute or chronic) - Hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs): Marker of recovery or immunity (acquired through natural HBV infection, vaccination, or passive antibody immunisation) - Hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc): Marker of present or past infection IgM--indicative of infection in the previous six months IgG--indicative of more distant HBV infection that may have been cleared by the immune system or that may persist; - A positive HBsAg and anti-HBc IgG indicates persistent chronic HBV infection - Hepatitis Be antigen (HBeAg): Marker of active current infection (correlates with a high level of viral replication and is also called a ‘marker of infectivity’ - Hepatitis Be antibody (anti-HBe): Marker of inactive virus (correlates with low rates of viral replication) - HBV DNA: Measures virus activity (correlates with active replication) and is useful in monitoring response to treatment of HBV infection Healthy carriers should have annual blood tests to check the liver enzyme levels while those with chronic active hepatitis should have blood tests (liver enzyme levels, HBV serology and viral load), a liver biopsy and be put on treatment. If a person is a carrier, people can get HBV infection from him by coming in contact with the blood, serum or semen. Such individuals should cover all cuts and open sores with a bandage, wash hands well after touching blood or body fluids and throw away used personal items such as tissues etc. in a bag so others will not be exposed to the blood. There should be no sharing of toothbrushes, razors, nail clippers/scissors, washcloths, or anything that may have come in contact with blood or body fluids. They should not donate blood. All household members must see the doctor and be tested for the disease. Please consult a gastroenterologist who can examine you, order relevant tests and advise appropriately.