Hepatitis B Surface Antibody (HBsAB)


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Subject: Hepatitis B Surface Antibody (HBsAB)

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  • The presence of HBsAb in the serum generally indicates recovery and immunity from hepatitis B infection. With naturally occurring hepatitis infections, anti-HBs usually appear in serum several weeks after disappearance of HBsAg; also known as HBsAb, anti-HBs, Australia Bs antibody, and HBV antibody.

  • Normal range:

    • <5.00 mIU/mL: Negative

    • ≥5.00 mIU/mL and <12.0 mIU/mL: Indeterminate

    • ≥12.0 mIU/mL: Positive


  • Identifying current and previous exposure to HBV. Determining adequate immunity from hepatitis B vaccination


Increased In

  • Recovery from acute or chronic HBV infection, or acquired immunity from HBV vaccination.

  • Positive results (quantitative anti-HBs levels of ≥12 mIU/mL) indicate an adequate immunity to hepatitis B from previous HBV infection or HBV vaccination.

  • Screen for individuals at high risk for exposure, such as hemodialysis patients, persons with multiple sex partners, persons with a history of other STDs, IV drug abusers, infants born to infected mothers, individuals residing in long-term residential facilities or correctional facilities, recipients of blood- or plasma-derived products, allied health care workers, and public service employees who come in contact with blood and blood products.

Decreased In

  • Inadequate immune response to HBV vaccination.


  • Passively acquired anti-HBs (i.e., transfusion of whole blood or plasma, recent immune globulin treatment) can yield positive results without indicating permanent immunity to HBV infection.

  • Anti-HBs levels from previous hepatitis B or HBV vaccination may fall below detectable levels over time.

  • Not useful for diagnosis of acute HBV infection. Does not differentiate between vaccine-induced immunity and immunity after recovery from hepatitis B infection without further tests like hepatitis B core total antibodies.

  • Coexistence of HBsAg/HBsAb reported in 24% patients. In most cases, the antibodies are unable to neutralize circulating virions. These are regarded as carriers.