This test can be used to look for both recent and past exposure to Hepatitis A. It can also be used to verify immunity to Hep A. Hepatitis A is a liver infection which is typically spread through exposure to contaminated fecal matter. Some of the common ways Hep A is spread include
The Hepatitis A Total test looks for 2 types of antibodies. IgM antibodies develop soon after exposure and fade away after a couple of months. IgG antibodies develop later and remain present in the body. The presence of IgM antibodies indicates a recent exposure to the virus and the possibility of an acute infection. Typically, IgG antibodies provide immunity to Hep A for people who have had a past infection or have received a vaccination.
Hepatitis A is typically associated with flu-like symptoms. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fever, fatigue, and joint pain. In some cases, especially in younger children, Hep A may show no symptoms.
This test is not able to differentiate between the types of Hep A antibodies. A positive result may indicate a recent infection or immunity from vaccination or clinical recovery. Patients are concerned about a recent exposure to Hep A or are currently experiencing symptoms may wish to order the Hepatitis A IgM Abs test.
Turnaround time for the Hepatitis A Total test is typically 1 business day.
The incubation period for Hepatitis A IgM antibodies usually appears 3 to 4 weeks after an initial exposure and return to normal after about 8 weeks. The Hepatitis A IgG antibodies may begin to develop 2 weeks after the IgM antibodies increase to a high level. IgG antibodies may persist indefinitely.
The hepatitis A total testing does not have any special requirements.