Hepatitis A Virus Test
Reference Hepatitis A Opens New Window virus (HAV) test is a blood test that looks for proteins (Reference antibodies Opens New Window) made by the body in response to the virus that causes hepatitis A. These proteins will be present in your blood if you have a hepatitis A infection now or have had one in the past. It is important to identify the type of hepatitis virus causing the infection to prevent it from spreading and to start the proper treatment.
HAV infection is spread through food or water that has been contaminated by the feces (stool) of an infected person.
- IgM anti-HAV antibodies mean a recent infection with hepatitis A virus. IgM anti-HAV antibodies generally can be detected in the blood as early as 2 weeks after the initial HAV infection. These antibodies disappear from the blood 3 to 12 months after the infection.
- IgG anti-HAV antibodies mean that you have had a hepatitis A viral infection. About 8 to 12 weeks after the initial infection with hepatitis A virus, IgG anti-HAV antibodies appear and remain in the blood for lifelong protection (immunity) against HAV.
Hepatitis A vaccine is available to prevent an HAV infection. If you have had this vaccine and you have anti-HAV antibodies, this means the vaccination was effective.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 30, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology