Clinical Pathology: Microbiology, Virology

• Hepatitis B virus (HBV) serologic testing involves the measurement of several HBV-specific antigens and antibodies.

• The combinations of different serologic markers are used to identify different phases of HBV infection and to determine whether a patient has acute or chronic HBV infection, is immune to HBV as a result of prior infection or vaccination, or is susceptible to HBV infection.

• All volunteer blood donors are screened for HBV exposure using a hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb) EIA, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) testing, and, at some blood centers, HBV nucleic acid testing.

• The presence of both hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb) and HBcAb indicates previous infection with HBV in an undefined time frame.

• The risk of acquiring HBV infection through blood transfusion currently ranges between 1:200,000 and 1:500,000.

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