Reasons, Procedure and Results of Hepatitis A Antibody Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Simply put, hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver, which is the organ that performs some extremely important functions within the human body. Some of these functions include the fighting of infection, storage of nutrients, vitamins and energy, the removal of harmful chemicals and toxins from the body as well as in the digestion of food. While the condition can affect any individual without warning, some people are at a higher risk of contraction than others. Some of the factors that contribute to this include living with an infected individual, homosexuality, excessive use of illegal drugs including the non injection type and visiting developing countries. Some other factors that contribute to the condition include eating food that has been prepared by someone that is infected and did not wash his or her hands after visiting the bathroom and the consumption of untreated water. Some of the most common symptoms of the condition include an upset stomach, tiredness, a significant loss in appetite, a fever, light colored stool as well as diarrhea. Unlike the other variations of Hepatitis, hepatitis A does not cause any chronic diseases and the liver will, in all likelihood repair itself without any long term damage. Once you have contracted the condition, your body develops hepatitis A immunity and you will never suffer from it again.

What does Hepatitis A Antibody Test show

There are two versions of tests that are used to detect antibodies that are produced by the body to protect its self against antigens. IgM, or immunoglobin M, is the first antibody produced by the body when it has been exposed to a virus. IgG, or immunoglobin G, antibodies develop in the system a little later and will be present for a number of years. An antibody test will help detect both current and previous infections of the hepatitis A virus.

Why is it done

Antibody tests are conducted in order to detect the presence of the hepatitis virus if you show symptoms of the condition. If the test results come back as positive and you have not gotten an HAV vaccination, you have a hepatitis A infection. Almost 30% of all adults above the age of 30 have developed antibodies against the virus.

How is it performed

The medical tests to identify the presence of antibodies may be performed in a doctor’s laboratory or hospital and would entail the withdrawal of blood with a syringe. This blood will then be tested upon with a number of chemicals to note its responses. These responses will help the doctor identify the presence of antibodies within your system.