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Hepatitis B Core Antibody Test, IgM

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About Our Hepatitis B Core Antibody Test, IgM

This blood test detects IgM antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (IgM anti-HBc) to indicate an acute hepatitis B infection. After infection with HBV, the IgM antibody is the first antibody produced by the body to fight off the virus. 

The recommended minimum window period for Hepatitis B Core Antibody, IgM is:

  • 6 weeks post potential exposure; hepatitis B can occasionally be detected as early as 3 weeks post-exposure. For the most accurate results, we recommend getting tested after 6 weeks.

What does a positive or reactive hepatitis B core antibody result mean?

A positive or reactive result can indicate that the individual has had a hepatitis B infection within the last 6 months. 

What is Hepatitis B?

The Hepatitis B virus is contagious and causes hepatitis B, one of five known types of hepatitis (liver swelling). Hepatitis B can either be acute (short-term and mild) or asymptomatic or chronic (a life-long infection). Chronic hepatitis B impacts liver function, which may potentially be fatal. Hepatitis B is preventable through vaccination.

How is Hepatitis B spread?

Hepatitis B is spread when infected bodily fluids such as blood, semen, or vaginal fluid enters the body, which can happen during: 

  • Sharing needles (like during intravenous drug use or unsterilized needles in tattooing)
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse
  • Sharing personal care items like razors or toothbrushes
  • Birth to an infected mother
  • Sharing a household with a chronically infected individual
  • Human bites from a hepatitis B-infected person
  • Needle sticks exposures of healthcare workers

HBV can survive for at least seven days outside of the body and still be able to cause infection.

Hepatitis B symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

Same Day Testing

Know your Hepatitis B status by testing today. By ordering online, you can go in at your earliest convenience during the lab’s hours of operations. Choose from one of 4,500 CLIA-certified lab locations. Sample collection takes about 5 minutes and you will receive an email or text when results are available to view inside your online account.

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