Hepatitis A Antibody, Total
This test can be used to look for both recent and past exposure to Hepatitis A. It can also be used to verify immunity to Hep A. Hepatitis A is a liver infection which is typically spread through exposure to contaminated fecal matter.
Some of the common ways Hep A is spread include:
- Through contaminated drinking water
- Eating food prepared by someone who has not properly washed their hands
- Eating produce that has not been properly washed
- Eating seafood raised in contaminated water
- Through some forms of sexual contact
- Exposure to infected blood
The Hepatitis A Total test looks for 2 types of antibodies. IgM antibodies develop soon after exposure and fade away after a couple of months. IgG antibodies develop later and remain present in the body. The presence of IgM antibodies indicates a recent exposure to the virus and the possibility of an acute infection. Typically, IgG antibodies provide immunity to Hep A for people who have had a past infection or have received a vaccination.
Hepatitis A is typically associated with flu-like symptoms. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fever, fatigue, and joint pain. In some cases, especially in younger children, Hep A may show no symptoms.
This test is not able to differentiate between the types of Hep A antibodies. A positive result may indicate a recent infection or immunity from vaccination or clinical recovery. People who are concerned about a recent exposure to Hep A or are currently experiencing symptoms may wish to order the Hepatitis A IgM Abs test.
Results of hepatitis testing may indicate the following:
|HAV IgM||HAV IgG or Total Antibody (IgM and IgG)||Results Indicate|
|Positive||Not Performed||Acute or recent HAV infection|
|Negative||Positive||No active infection but previous HAV exposure; has developed immunity to HAV or recently vaccinated for HAV|
|Not Performed||Positive||Has been exposed to HAV but does not rule out acute infection|
|Not Performed||Negative||No current or previous HAV infection; vaccine may be recommended if at risk|
A total antibody test detects both IgM and IgG antibodies but does not distinguish between them.