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.
Rubella is a viral infection otherwise known as German Measles. The virus causes a red rash and flu-like symptoms and although the virus is usually harmless, if a woman gets rubella in the first three months of her pregnancy, serious birth defects or a miscarriage may occur.
This test measures IgG antibodies to the measles virus which will tell you whether or not you are immune to measles. A result above a certain level will be reported as positive which means that you are immune to measles. Your result can also be reported as equivocal (which means that antibodies have been detected but they are not at a level where immunity is certain) or negative, which means that you are not immune to measles. Measles is a contagious disease which is spread through coughing and sneezing. Measles causes symptoms such as a runny nose, cough and fever, red, light-sensitive eyes and small whitish spots on the inside of the cheeks. After a few days, a rash will develop. Measles often passes without incident, but in some cases serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain) can develop. Immunity to measles is acquired through being vaccinated or as a result of having recovered from a previous infection. Once you are immune you are unlikely to catch measles again or pass measles onto another person. Health care workers may be required to prove immunity to measles by their employer.
This test measures the level of IgG antibodies to mumps in your blood which will tell you whether you are immune to mumps. A result above a certain level will mean that your result is positive and you are immune to mumps. If your antibodies are below this level then your results may be reported as equivocal (where immunity is not certain) or negative which means that you are not immune to mumps. Mumps is a contagious viral infection which is spread through coughing and sneezing. It causes symptoms such as headaches and joint pain, as well as the characteristic swelling of the parotid salivary glands just below the ears. Some individuals will also experience swelling of the testicles and ovaries, and it can cause viral meningitis in a minority of cases. Immunity to mumps can be acquired through vaccination or from having recovered from a previous infection. Immunity means that you will not catch mumps and neither can you spread mumps to another person. Health care workers may need to prove their mumps immunity to their employer.
Varicella zoster IgG
Varicella Zoster is another name for the virus which causes chickenpox and shingles. It is a type of herpes virus and tends to infect a large proportion of the population at a young age, causing chicken pox, and from there on it lays dormant in the nerve cells. However, in about 25% of people, the virus may reactivate later in life, presenting itself as shingles, a painful blistering rash focussed on one particular area of the body. Testing for the presence of IgG in the blood indicates whether someone has previously been infected and has developed immunity to the virus.
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