Hepatitis A B and C Profile Blood Test, from our experts to you.
Dr Sam Rodgers MBBS, MRCGP

Chief Medical Officer meet our doctors

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What is
hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is an acute (short-term) disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is commonly transmitted through food or water that is contaminated with faeces from an infected person. That's why it is more likely to find HAV in countries where sanitation is poor. There is a vaccination available against HAV if you are at a high risk of infection or travelling to a high-risk country.


What is
hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV causes inflammation and enlargement of the liver and can vary in severity. In some cases, HBV can cause lasting liver damage or become life-threatening. HBV is spread through contact with bodily fluids from an infected person. If you work with bodily fluids or travel to high-risk areas, you can be at an increased risk of exposure to HBV. It is also possible for pregnant women to pass the infection to their babies, usually during or after birth.


What is
hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C (HCV) is the most common type of viral hepatitis in the UK and is spread through blood-to-blood contact with an infected individual. HCV is usually a chronic infection as, for the majority of those infected with HCV, the virus will remain in the body for several years. Although there is currently no HCV vaccine available, HCV can be treated with antiviral drugs. HCV often doesn't have any noticeable symptoms until the liver is significantly damaged. Because of this, many people who are infected are unaware they have the virus and may have only flu-like symptoms.


What's included?

Immunity
Infection
Liver health
Proteins
Select profile for more information

Hepatitis A antibodies IgG and IgM Hepatitis A is an acute, short-term disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A is commonly transmitted by through food or water which has been contaminated by faeces from someone who is already infected by the virus. This type of hepatitis is most common in countries where the sanitation is poor. IgM antibodies are involved in the very early stages of an immune response and first to be made by the body when fighting a new infection, providing short-term protection. A positive IgM result indicates a recent HAV infection. IgG provides antibody-based immunity. IgG antibodies form the basis of long-term protection against microorganisms and in those with a healthy immune system, sufficient IgG antibodies are produced to prevent re-infection. A positive IgG indicates a past HAV infection & immunity to the virus.
Hepatitis A antibodies IgM Hepatitis A is an acute, short-term disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A is commonly transmitted by through food or water which has been contaminated by faeces from someone who is already infected by the virus. This type of hepatitis is most common in countries where the sanitation is poor. IgM antibodies are involved in the very early stages of an immune response and first to be made by the body when fighting a new infection, providing short-term protection. A positive IgM result indicates a recent HAV infection.
Hepatitis B Core antibodies IgG and IgM Antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) is used as a marker of acute, chronic, or resolved HBV infection, useful in determining a previous exposure to HBV infection. A positive IgM anti-HBc result indicates a recent HBV infection. IgG antibody subclass of anti-HBc is a marker of past infection with HBV.
Hepatitis B surface antibodies This test measures antibodies against hepatitis B in your blood. It will tell you whether you are immune to hepatitis B or whether you do not have immunity. In most of the population, a result greater than 10 IU/L means that you have sufficient antibodies for immunity. A result less than 10 IU/L means that you are not immune. If you are prone to exposure to hepatitis B through your work (Exposure Prone Procedures a EPP), then you will require a result greater than 100 IU/L to confirm immunity. If your result shows that you have immunity to hepatitis B it means that you are both protected from possible infection and will not pass it on to another person. You can acquire hep B immunity through prior vaccination(s), or by having recovered from a previous infection. This test will not tell you whether you are currently infected with hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is an infectious viral disease which causes your liver to become inflamed and enlarged. Most people recover from an acute hepatitis B infection by themselves within around 6 months. However, for others, the infection becomes chronic (prolonged) which can lead to lasting liver damage. Hepatitis B can have few symptoms, especially in the early stages. People who are at risk of becoming infected with hepatitis B are those who have had close contact with others who are infected (including unprotected sexual contact). Coming into contact with infected blood (e.g. through sharing needles, some contact sports) will also put you at risk of becoming infected with hepatitis B. Health care workers are often required to check their immunity against hep B for work purposes.
Hepatitis C antibodies Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect and damage the liver. It is mainly transmitted through sharing needles while injecting drugs, through unprotected sex with an infected person and can also be passed from mother to baby. Many who are infected with the virus are unaware as there are often no noticeable symptoms. However, a chronic hepatitis C infection can cause cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) which can lead to chronic liver disease. Hepatitis C antibodies are produced by the body in response to exposure to the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Testing for these antibodies in the blood helps to identify a hepatitis C infection.
Hepatitis B surface antigen The hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is a protein on the surface of the hepatitis B virus, present in the blood during a hepatitis B virus infection. Checking for this surface antigen helps to identify acute and chronic HBV infections. Positive surface antigen meaning the virus is present and that the individual is infectious.
Hepatitis C core antigen Hepatitis C core antigen is a part of the Hepatitis C virus that is found in the blood during a current infection. The core antigen forms the inner part of the virus particle.
Bilirubin Bilirubin is a product of the breakdown of haemoglobin from red blood cells. It is removed from the body via the liver, stored and concentrated in the gallbladder and secreted into the bowel. It is removed from your body through urine and faeces. Bilirubin causes the yellowish colour you sometimes see in bruises, due to red blood cells breaking down underneath the skin.
ALP Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme found mainly in the liver and bones. Measuring it can indicate ongoing liver, gallbladder or bone disease.
ALT Alanine transferase (ALT) is an enzyme which is mostly found in the liver, but is also found in smaller amounts in the heart, muscles and the kidneys. If the liver is damaged, ALT is leaked into to bloodstream. As ALT is predominantly found in the liver, it is usually an accurate marker for liver inflammation and can indicate liver damage caused by alcohol, fatty liver, drugs or viruses (hepatitis).
Gamma GT Gamma GT, also known as gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), is a liver enzyme which is raised in liver and bile duct diseases. It is used in conjunction with ALP to distinguish between bone or liver disease. Gamma GT is also used to diagnose alcohol abuse as it is raised in 75% of long term drinkers.
Total protein Total Protein represents the sum of the proteins albumin and globulin in your blood. Albumin and globulin have a range of functions including keeping blood within vessels, transporting nutrients and fighting infection. Abnormal levels can indicate malnutrition as well as a liver or kidney disorder.
Albumin Albumin is a protein which is made mainly in the liver. It helps to exert the osmotic pressure which holds water within the blood. It also helps carry nutrients and medications and other substances through the blood and is important for tissue growth and healing. Albumin also carries hormones around the body, therefore measuring the amount of albumin in the blood can help us calculate how much hormone is available to your tissues.
Globulin Globulin is an umbrella term for a set of different proteins that the immune system and the liver produce. Certain globulins bind with haemoglobin while others transport metals, such as iron, in the blood. Additionally, there is a certain type of globulin known as an immunoglobulin, (another name for an antibody) which helps to fight infection in the body.

How to prepare
for your test

Special instructions

Prepare for your Hepatitis A B and C Profile Blood Test by following these instructions. Take this test at least 2 weeks after hepatitis A exposure If there is a chance that you have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B or C then please let us know how long before taking your sample this occurred. Your sample should be taken 4 weeks after any hepatitis B exposure. Do not take biotin supplements for two days before this test, discuss this with your doctor if it is prescribed. Please let us know if you have had a hepatitis B vaccination. You should wait at least two months after your vaccination before taking this test.


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