Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Long Term Test
Presence of anti-HBs is an indicator of clinical recovery and subsequent immunity to hepatitis B virus. The Hepatitis B Surface Antibody lab test is useful for evaluation of possible immunity in individuals who are at increased risks for exposure to the hepatitis B (ie, hemodialysis unit personnel, venipuncturists, etc). Evaluate the need for hepatitis B immune globulin after needlestick injury; evaluate the need for hepatitis B vaccine and follow immune status after hepatitis B vaccine.
Anti-HBs usually can be detected several weeks to several months after HBsAg is no longer found, and it may persist for many years or for life after acute infection has been resolved. It may disappear in some patients, with only antibody to core remaining. Patients with this antibody are not overtly infectious. Presence of the antibody without the presence of the antigen is evidence for immunity from reinfection, with virus of the same subtype (vide supra). Anti-HBs can be induced by vaccination with hepatitis vaccine, now genetically engineered and free of any infective material. This vaccine so far has been safe and effective in protecting recipients from acute hepatitis B.