This test detects the presence of total hepatitis A antibodies and IgM antibodies.
When the body is exposed to certain viruses, it produces antibodies in response to the infection. The IgM antibody test detects the first antibodies that the body produces when it has been exposed to the hepatitis A virus. A positive IgM result typically indicates there is acute or recent infection.1
The total hepatitis A antibody test measures the level of all hepatitis antibodies. A person with a positive total antibody test may have had previous exposure or infection, or they may have been vaccinated against hepatitis A.1 A negative result would indicate the person has not been exposed to hepatitis A and also has not received the hepatitis A vaccination.
What's it used for?
Hepatitis A is a highly transmittable viral infection that is caused by a virus: the hepatitis A. Once infected, it causes the inflammation of the liver, which may affect its proper functioning. Hepatitis A can spread by having sexual intercourse with an infected person, drinking contaminated water, eating food that is handled by somebody who’s infected, or being in close contact with somebody who is infected even if he or she is not showing any signs and symptoms.
Hepatitis A is one of five types of hepatitis. Despite the fact that it causes acute and severe illness for up to two months, this viral infection would not turn into a chronic condition. Once contracted, it causes damages in the liver preventing it from functioning normally. The result is the inability to process toxins and waste products and removing them from the body.
When the virus enters the body, your body’s first reaction is to produce antibodies IgM. These take anywhere between two to three weeks to be detectable; and, last up to six months in your system. On the other hand, another type of antibodies: the IgG, are produced 1-2 weeks after IgM antibodies; but, remain in the system for life. Testing your antibodies can help determine the cause of your liver damage. A total antibodies test detects both IgG and IgM and can identify both current and past infection. It can also indicate that the person got vaccinated for hepatitis A.
Why take the Hepatitis A Infection and Immunity Package test?
This test can help diagnose the true cause of an acute hepatitis infection. It is also the best tool to identify the hepatitis virus that is causing this infection. For those who are at high-risk for contracting hepatitis A, this test is a great tool to assess the need for the HAV vaccine.
If you are at high risk of contracting hepatitis A, you need to be tested. Risk factors include traveling or working in areas where hepatitis A is prevalent, attending childcare or working there, living with a person who is infected with hepatitis A, being a man having sex with another, being in close sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis A, being HIV positive, being homeless, using illegal drugs, or having a clotting factor disorder. You have to take the test to prevent any possible complication. While complications are very rare, sometimes hepatitis A can cause a sudden loss of the liver function, especially in older people. This might require them to undergo a liver transplant.
What could affect the Hepatitis A Infection and Immunity results?
There are no medications of supplements that may affect your results. You do not need to follow a special diet prior to getting tested. however, getting tested too early might yield false negative. This means that you are infected but got tested too early for the antibodies to be detected in the test.
What your Hepatitis A Infection and Immunity results mean?
This test involves looking at both the total antibodies and the IgM HAV. So, the interpretation of the results might be a little tricky. If the IgM test was positive; then you much have an acute or recent hepatitis A infection. If the IgM is negative but the total antibodies result was positive, this means that you were previously exposed to the hepatitis A virus but you did not have an active infection at the time of the test. This also indicates that you have developed an immunity to the hepatitis A virus or have been recently vaccinated against it. If both HAV IgM and HAV total antibodies test gave negative results; then, you have no current or past hepatitis A infection. This also means that you never got vaccinated for it.