Common markers for diagnosis and assessment of viral hepatitis
|Marker||Clinical interpretation for a positive result|
|Anti-HAV||Past or present infection with hepatitis A virus (HAV) or vaccination against HAV|
|HBsAg||Presence of hepatitis B virus infection|
|HBeAg||Active replication of hepatitis B virus in an infected person; Marker of high infectivity|
|Anti-HBs||Protection from hepatitis B virus infection acquired by recovery from infection or vaccination|
|Anti-HBe||Low replication of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in an infected person if viral load is low;|
Infection with HBV variants if viral load is high
|Anti-HBc||Previous or ongoing natural infection with hepatitis B virus|
|Anti-HCV||Active or past hepatitis C virus infection|
|Anti-HDV||Acute or chronic infection with hepatitis D virus|
|Anti-HEV||Past or present infection with hepatitis E virus|
To diagnose hepatitis virus infection, a test for virus and immunity markers is normally performed on a blood sample, which can be collected by venepuncture or fingerstick.
- Venepuncture sampling
Venepuncture is a common way to collect blood from adults. Blood collection usually takes place from a superficial vein in the upper limb. The venepuncture procedure is performed by medical professionals or trained phlebotomists.
- Fingerstick sampling
Fingerstick sampling involves taking a small amount of blood from the end of a finger by using a lancet. Blood can be collected into a microtube or spotted onto a filter paper card to air-dry before testing. This approach is much simpler than the venepuncture procedure and the collection of blood specimens can be self-administrated under clear instructions. Owing to its simplicity and minimal invasiveness, dried blood spot samples have been used for screening some common infectious diseases.