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A 29-year-old female asked:

Does a hepatitis a total antibody test look for igm antibodies or igg antibodies? or does it look for both? does it differentiate between the two on the results?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stuart Hickerson
Family Medicine 32 years experience
Both: IgM comes first in 7 days after onset and IgG comes on 3 to 4 weeks after onset.
Dr. Julie Abbott
Preventive Medicine 45 years experience
Typically, yes: The use of the word "total" indicates that both IgM and IgG HAV antibodies will be tested for. Anti-HAV IgM (hepatitis A IgM antibody) usually falls to an undetectable level by 6 months after HAV infection. Anti-HAV IgG levels rise quickly once the virus is cleared and may persist for many years. Both results are reported and help differentiate between recent and past/resolved hepatitis A.

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Last updated Jan 15, 2015

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