What do different markers of Hepatitis B infection interpret?
Q: I am a Hepatitis B (non-infectious carrier). I am married and have had sex with my husband before I learnt about this ailment. Will he get the same virus too? What medicine should I take for this? I have read about Lamivuc, can I take it? What foods should I take and which are the ones to avoid?
A: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