Measurement of antibodies against hepatitis B virus antigen e is used to determine the infectivity of hepatitis B virus carriers, to monitor the status of patients with chronic hepatitis B, and to monitor the response of patients with chronic hepatitis B receiving antiviral treatment.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV), has an incubation period of 6 to 23 weeks (mean 17 weeks). It is mainly transmitted by blood and certain body secretions. Hepatitis B can also be transmitted through the use of infected needles. This form of hepatitis is more severe than hepatitis A. It damages the liver cells and can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. The treatment involves the use of interferon and antiviral drugs in an attempt to control the virus's proliferation. Vaccination for HBV provides protection for over 20 years.
Hepatitis B virus consists of an outer shell that surrounds an inner "core". The outer shell contains a protein called hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) or Australian antigen. The inner core contains the hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg). The inner core also contains another protein called antigen e (HBeAg). The human body reacts to the presence of these antigens by producing antibodies against them. Thus, laboratory testing includes tests for the presence of antigens as well as antibodies (HBsAb, HBcAb, and HBeAb).
Hepatitis B Antibody e (HBeAb, Anti-HBe)
This test identifies antibodies against hepatitis B virus antigen e. This antibody occurs 8 to 16 weeks after infection and usually signals the end of the acute phase of infection. The presence of this antibody concomitantly with a positive result in screening for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) usually indicates carrier status.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.