Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Antibodies (IgM and Total)

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Subject: Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Antibodies (IgM and Total)

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Definition

  • The detection of HAV-specific antibodies, both IgG and IgM, occurs early in the acute infection, with IgG persisting for years. Diagnosis of HAV infection requires positivity for IgM. HAV never causes chronic infection, but acute relapses occasionally occur.

  • Normal range: Negative.

Use

  • Indicated, in conjunction with other serologic and clinical information, as an aid in the clinical laboratory diagnosis of individuals with acute or past hepatitis A virus infection aids in the identification of HAV-susceptible individuals prior to HAV vaccination.

Limitations

  • The total assay detects the presence of anti-HAV total (both IgG and IgM combined). A positive result indicates that the patient had hepatitis A either recently or in the past. IgM antibodies against HAV are detected soon after the onset of symptoms. Persistence of the IgM response is extremely variable, with specific IgM detected for <1 month in some cases to >1 year in others. In most cases, IgM antibodies against HAV persist for a period of 3–6 months, after which they decline to levels that are below detection.

 
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