B Hepatitis

Diagnostic laboratory of hepatitis B by using ultrasensitive tests for early detection of infection of hepatitis B virus by PCR.

We hope that this information will be very helpful. If you have doubts, our professionals can help you. Contact them on 91 591 63 13 or info@empireo.es.

Available tests:

Hepatitis B sensitive tests using PCR

This test can detect DNA of hepatitis B virus in blood samples. The high sensitivity and reliability of this test hepatitis B reduces the window period compared to other detection methods, this being about 15 days after exposure to virus. Therefore, this technique can detect the virus at an early stage of infection. Furthermore, this marker can be used to determine the chronicity or resolution of infection with hepatitis B.

Rapid hepatitis B test in 20 min (antibodies and p24)

This test detects the surface antigen of hepatitis B virus (also called HBsAg antigen or Australia) in blood samples. In the acute phase, the concentration of this antigen usually high so makes it a good early marker. In this regard, the window period for this test is about one month from the contact risk.

In the case of chronicity of the disease surface antigen it is still detected and in fact if this marker is positive after the sixth month of infection can be defined as chronic hepatitis B. However, if acute infection is resolved favorably, the surface antigen will disappear at 3 or 6 months of disease.

Note that the sensitivity of this test depends largely different virus variants that appear by accumulation of mutations.

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hepatitis b (2008)What is the B hepatitis?

Hepatitis B is the most common infection of liver of the world. Cause is the virus of the hepatitis B (VHB), which it attacks to the liver producing an inflammation (hepatitis) and injures it. Hepatitis B is one of the most important causes of illness and death in the world, existing more than 2.000 million infected people. Approximately 1 million of people die every year because of the hepatitis B and his complications. [Alter MJ. Epidemiology and prevention of hepatitis B. Semin Liver Dis 2003; 23:39-46.]. Highest rates of the illness appear between 20 – 49 year-old people.

Why is B hepatitis so dangerous B?

Hepatitis B is dangerous because it is a “silent infection” that can infect people who do not know they are infected. Most of  people become infected with hepatitis B does not know that they have  infection and accidentally they can infect virus to others. Illness can adopt an acute or chronic form. Those who acquire the chronic infection have major risk of developing further on serious illnesses in liver. Virus can attack this organ continuously and in silence for many years without being detected.
Furthermore, virus of the hepatitis B is extremely infectious; it had been published that it is 100 times more infectious than HIV [Sattar SA, et to. Preventing the spread of B and C hepatitis viruses: do where plough germicides relevant? Am J Infect Control 2001; 29:187-97.]

What is the “acute” hepatitis B?

An infection of hepatitis B is considered to be “acute” from the moment of the infection and during the following 6 months. This is time that habitually slow a healthy adult in eliminating successfully the infection of hepatitis B and developing protective antibodies. During acute infection, person can infect and spread virus to others.

What is the chronic hepatitis B?

When a person show during up to six months one positive result in the test to detect the hepatitis B virus, the diagnostic is chronic hepatitis B. Chronic hepatitis B infection can persist during the whole life. Near of 10 % of the adults that are infected, suffer from a chronic infection.

What are its symptoms?

As it has been commented previously, one of the biggest dangers of the hepatitis B is that between 75 % and 80 % of the hepatitis produced by HBV are asymptomatic. First symptoms can be, between others, a (abdominal) morning sickness, vomiting, loss of the appetite, fatigue, muscular pains. Then jaundice appears together with dark urine and soft dregs.

How is it transmitted?

You can contract hepatitis B by a direct contact with blood or corporal fluids of an infected person, including the semen, vaginal secretions and the saliva. Then, sexual relations without protection, shared or re-used needles, and of the mother infected to the baby newborn baby during the childbearing, are possible routes of infection. Sexual transmission of the hepatitis B is a source of principal infection in the whole world.

The risk is major if you:

• Have sexual relations with more than one partner.
• Live in the same house of someone who has the infection of VHB the whole life.
• Have a work that needs contact with human blood.
• To surrender to tattooes or acupuncture with contaminated instruments
• Users of injectable drugs
• Have haemophilia.
• Travel to zones where Bhepatitis is common (see map).

Worry in the pregnancy

If you have the VHB in the blood, you can transmit the hepatitis B to her baby. About 50-70 % of the newborn babies of mothers in the acute phase of an infection for hepatitis B will turn into carriers of hepatitis B. Nevertheless, the incidence of infection for the exchange of fluids in moment of birth is even major, an almost 70-90 %.

It is advisable that pregnant women put to a test to detect VHB in an initial stage of his pregnancy. If the test turns out to be positive, the baby will must to receive vaccine together with another inoculation, immune globulin against hepatitis B (called H-BIG) on having been born.

Importance of the diagnosis for PCR of Hepatitis B

As it has been described previously, diagnosis for PCR allows to detect presence of virus of a direct way, avoiding  “window period”. This fact has special importance in the detection of virus of the hepatitis B, since up to the last 6 weeks of the infection, serological markers do not start to be detected.

On the other hand, with the diagnosis by PCR emission of erroneous results is avoided, which is key in this case, since the disappearance of antibodies after acute infection is slow, going so far as in 20 % of  cases to prevail two years later. This phenomenon can give place to false positive diagnostics, which in no case happen with  viral detection for PCR. Also it is important existence of individuals with chronic infection, but with negative result in serological tests; this phenomeno it owes to the production for these persons of antibodies below limit of detection of these tests. Great sensibility of the PCR, avoids these problems.

And if you have doubts … come see us !