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Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)

There are three forms of hepatitis:
  • Hepatitis A (Infectious Hepatitis)
  • Hepatitis B (Serum Hepatitis, Transfusion Hepatitis)
  • Non-A, Non-B Hepatitis

Hepatitis A:

  • Transmitted through close personal contact (oral or fecal)
  • Affects children and young adults more often
  • Is not associated with chronic hepatitis or a carrier status
  • Has an incubation period of 2-6 weeks, followed by an abrupt onset
  • Hepatitis A IgM will be elevated from 6-14 weeks after infection.

Hepatitis B:

  • Transmitted parenterally (drug injection or transfusion)
  • 10% become carriers
  • Has an incubation period of 6-26 weeks, followed by a gradual onset of symptoms and signs.
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigen appears in the serum from 4-12 weeks following infection
  • Hepatitis B Core Antibody appears within 6-14 weeks
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antibody appears 4-10 months following infection, indicating clinical recovery and immunity to the Hep B virus

Normal Values*

Hepatitis A Negative

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis, Non-A, Non-B Negative

*These are general values taken from a variety of sources. The actual normal values may vary from lab to lab and from one type of testing protocol to another.

Source: Operational Medicine 2001,  Health Care in Military Settings, NAVMED P-5139, May 1, 2001, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy, 2300 E Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20372-5300