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Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HbsAg), Serum

Number of parameters covered 4

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Synonyms/Also Known as

HBV Tests, Australian antigen Hepatitis B Surface Antigen

Related tests

HBeAg, HBeAb, HBC IgM, HBC IgG, HB viral load, Hepatitis A Testing, Hepatitis C Testing, Liver Panel, Bilirubin, AST, ALT, GGT

Why get tested?

HBsAg is the common Hepatitis B test. HBs Ag is used as a part of screening programme to screen blood donors, pregnant woman, healthcare workers etc., helps to determine if the vaccine to hepatitis B produced an adequate level of immunity and to identify the risk of spreading the disease. The test is used to monitor the disease status either acute or chronic along with other hepatitis markers.

When to get tested?

HBsAg test is done to know the disease status either acute or chronic. To know the effectiveness of treatment along with other markers.

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Test preparation needed

No special preparation required

About The Test

How is it used
During HBV infections, HBsAg is the first serological marker which appears and can be detected within 1 to 2 weeks after exposure. The development of symptoms may take the average of 4 weeks. HBsAg persists during the acute phase and clears late in the convalescence period. Presence of HBsAg after six months indicates a chronic HBsAg carrier state. HBsAg assays are used to identify persons infected with HBV and to prevent transmission of the virus by blood and blood products as well as to monitor the status of infected individuals in combination with other hepatitis B serological markers. Testing for HBsAg is part of the screening (antenatal screening, Blood donors) program to identify HBV infected mothers and to prevent perinatal HBV infection by subsequent immunization. The presence of HBs Ag indicates acute infection. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) may remain positive in chronic patients. HBsAg Positive individuals are infectious and they can spread the infection. Positive HBc IgM antibodies indicate acute infection. Anti-HBcAg is a nonspecific marker of infection which can indicate acute, chronic or resolved the acute infection. Antibody to HBsAg (anti-HBs) is a marker of immunity and is present after resolution of acute infection, HBeAg levels can be used to monitor the progress of hepatitis B viral infection. During the early phase of hepatitis B viral infection, after the appearance of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), HBeAg is first detectable marker in the serum. The titers of both HBs Ag and HbeAg antigens rise rapidly during the period of viral replication in acute infection. HBeAg may persist together with HBsAg in chronic hepatitis B viral infection. Chronic hepatitis B patients have no detectable HBeAg in serum but are positive for antibody to HBeAg (anti-HBe), these patients may also be positive for serum hepatitis B virus DNA. In acute infection, during recovery period the HBeAg levels decrease and later become undetectable in the serum and the Hepatitis B envelope antibody (Anti-HBe) appears. Anti-HBe remains detectable for many years after recovery from acute HBV infection. HbeAg positive results usually indicate the presence of active HBV replication and high infectivity in HBV carriers and chronic hepatitis individuals. A negative HBeAg result indicates no Viral replication. Anti-Hbe positive results indicate inactivity of the virus and low infectivity. Hepatitis B DNA (HBV DNA) is a marker of viral replication. Higher viral loads correlate with greater infectivity.


1. What are the different types of Hepatitis infection?

Hepatitis A virus, Hepatitis E virus, Hepatitis B surface Antigen, Hepatitis C Virus. These diseases are caused by different types of viruses. Hepatitis A virus is transmitted through fecal-oral route by drinking contaminated water or Food. The disease is acute, not chronic. Hepatitis B and C viral infections begin as acute, but in some persons, the virus remains in the body and become chronic.

2. What is the mode of Transmission of Hepatitis B virus?

1. During Birth spread from an infected mother to child.

2. Sexual transmission.

3. Using needles and syringes between people.

4. By contact with the blood or wounds of Hepatitis B infected person.

5. Exposure to blood from needle sticks or other sharp instruments.

3. What are different types of Hepatitis markers to evaluate Hepatitis B disease condition?

1. HBs Ag: This is the first antigen appeared during Acute infection. It is also present in the chronic stage.

2. Hepatitis B core Antibody Total (Anti-HBC): A positive test means a person is either currently infected with the Hepatitis B virus or infected in the past.

3. Hepatitis B core IgM antibody (Anti-HBc IgM): It is used to detect acute infection.

4. Hepatitis “Be’’ Antigen: High levels of HBeAg present in the blood during acute Hepatitis B virus infection. This test is used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

5. Hepatitis “Be’’ Antibody: This Antibody is produced against Hepatitis “Be’’ Antigen. The positive test indicates chronic infection.

6. Hepatitis B viral Load: The test is used to the presence of Hepatitis B viral DNA in the blood. High levels of viral load is the indication of acute infection. This test is used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

4. What are the preventive measures used for Hepatitis B virus infection?

Vaccination with Hepatitis B is the best preventive measure to protect against Hepatitis B virus infection. After vaccination, antibodies are produced against virus and gives protection.