To know if you are immune or if you have a current hepatitis B infection, or which stage your chronic hepatitis B is at, you will need to have a blood test done.
Following is a summary of hepatitis B tests from SA Health.
|What a positive result means
|Hepatitis B surface antigen
- Shows that the person has hepatitis B.
- It can be detected during acute and chronic infection.
|Hepatitis B surface antibody
(HBsAb or anti-HBs)
- Shows that the person has developed immunity to hepatitis B.
- It can be detected in people who have recovered from acute hepatitis B or been vaccinated against it.
|Hepatitis B e antigen
- Shows that hepatitis B virus is multiplying, and that it can be more easily passed on.
|Hepatitis B e antibody
(HBeAb or anti-HBe)
- Shows that the person’s immune system has responded to hepatitis B and in some circumstances that the virus is not actively replicating.
|Hepatitis B core antibody
(HBcAb or anti-HBc)
- Shows that a person has had hepatitis B.
- Could indicate past or present infection.
- (If someone has immunity through vaccination they will not test positive.)
|Hepatitis B virus DNA (HBV DNA)
- Measures the amount of hepatitis B virus in the bloodstream and indicates how actively the virus is multiplying.