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IgM Anti-HBc / Anti-HBc IgM

Total anti-HBc

Anti-HBc IgG and IgM antibodies are the body’s first response to a hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. These antibodies are directed against a portion of the HBV called “core”. Anti-HBc IgG and IgM appear shortly after the symptoms and onset of measurable virus surface antigen (HBsAg). IgM arrive first and are then replaced by IgG. Total Anti-HBc (IgG plus IgM) are interpreted in light of clinical factors and the results of other hepatitis B markers, particularly HBsAg and anti-HBs.

A negative total anti-HBc result may indicate the absence of a recent or previous HBV infection (negative HBsAg and anti-HBs). However, a developing infection cannot be ruled out. The combination of negative total anti-HBc and HBsAg results, but positive anti-HBs results indicates an individual that has been vaccinated against hepatitis B. In combination with positive HBsAg/negative anti-HBs, a negative total anti-HBc test may indicate an individual in the acute phase of the disease or a reactivation of the virus in a chronic carrier.

A positive total anti-HBc result may indicate that the individual has eliminated the virus and is now immune (negative HBsAg/positive anti-HBs) or is in a recovery phase (negative HBsAg and anti-HBs / negative or positive anti-HBc IgM). When combined with a positive HBsAg, an active chronic infection may be suspected.

Term of the Week

Hot zone

A hot zone is a section of a facility (sometimes an entire facility or even a city district) where there is a high risk of contamination by patients with an infectious disease. All individuals entering a hot zone must respect appropriate protective measures. By analogy, “cold zone” and “warm zone” are used to refer to areas where there is no infected individual or only individuals suspected of having an infection.