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What are antigens and antibodies, in relation to hepatitis?

4 doctors weighed in
Morgan Daul
General Practice
2 doctors agree

In brief: Hepatitis AG & AB

The most common forms are hepa, hepb, and hepc.
When testing for these forms you will do a blood test that will show antigens (ag) and/or antibodies (ab) for hepatitis. Hepa and hepc only have one ag which will result in one ab to fight if off. Hepb has both a surface ag (hbsag) and e ag (hbeag) resulting in hbsab, hbeab and hbcab (with results from infection of hepb).

In brief: Hepatitis AG & AB

The most common forms are hepa, hepb, and hepc.
When testing for these forms you will do a blood test that will show antigens (ag) and/or antibodies (ab) for hepatitis. Hepa and hepc only have one ag which will result in one ab to fight if off. Hepb has both a surface ag (hbsag) and e ag (hbeag) resulting in hbsab, hbeab and hbcab (with results from infection of hepb).
Morgan Daul
Morgan Daul
Answer assisted by Morgan Daul, Medical Student
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Dr. Powlin Manuel
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology

In brief: Infection/immunity?

Good morning, hepatitis b antigen (hbsag) present means active infection.
Test positive in 1-10 weeks of infection. Hepatitis antibody (anti-hbs) means presence of antibody to fight infection (weeks to months). Igm antibody appears early in infection. If both hbsag and antihbs are present, it could suggest a chronic infection, where the antibody could not eliminate the virus.

In brief: Infection/immunity?

Good morning, hepatitis b antigen (hbsag) present means active infection.
Test positive in 1-10 weeks of infection. Hepatitis antibody (anti-hbs) means presence of antibody to fight infection (weeks to months). Igm antibody appears early in infection. If both hbsag and antihbs are present, it could suggest a chronic infection, where the antibody could not eliminate the virus.
Dr. Powlin Manuel
Dr. Powlin Manuel
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