Monday, January 30, 2023

What Is Reactive Hepatitis C

What Do The Results Mean

Hepatitis C Infection with Case â Disorders of the Hepatobiliary Tract | Lecturio

There are two results from a hepatitis C antibody test.

  • A non-reactive or negative test result means that the person does not have the virus. The exception is if someone has come into contact with the virus recently, such as through contaminated blood. If this is the case, they will need to have another test.
  • A reactive or positive test result means that the person has had the virus at some point but does not mean that they still have it. Further tests will be needed to check whether the virus is still active in the body and if treatment will be required.

Once diagnosed with hepatitis C, a person will need to undergo a series of different tests to see how the virus has affected their body.

These tests will check for any liver damage, identify how well the liver is working, and help a healthcare professional to decide on treatment.

Hepatitis C is treated with medication known as an antiviral. It gets this name because it aims to clear the virus out of the body.

Another aim of the medication is to slow down damage to the liver. It may also reduce the chance of a person getting liver cancer or developing serious liver scarring, known as cirrhosis.

A person with hepatitis C will require regular testing during treatment to see how well the medication is working. Keeping healthy, getting enough sleep, and avoiding drugs and alcohol can help treatment to work.

What Is Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a liver infection that can lead to serious liver damage. Itâs caused by the hepatitis C virus. About 2.4 million people in the U.S. have the disease. But it causes few symptoms, so most of them don’t know. The virus spreads through an infected personâs blood or body fluids.

There are many forms of the hepatitis C virus, or HCV. The most common in the U.S. is type 1. None is more serious than any other, but they respond differently to treatment.

How Do You Get Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C spreads when blood or body fluids contaminated with the hepatitis C virus get into your bloodstream through contact with an infected person.

You can be exposed to the virus from:

  • Sharing injection drugs and needles
  • Having sex, especially if you have HIV, another STD, several partners, or have rough sex
  • Being stuck by infected needles
  • Birth — a mother can pass it to a child
  • Sharing personal care items like toothbrushes, razor blades, and nail clippers
  • Getting a tattoo or piercing with unclean equipment

You canât catch hepatitis C through:

  • Have been on long-term kidney dialysis
  • Have abnormal liver tests or liver disease
  • Were born to a mother with hepatitis C

Since July 1992, all blood and organ donations in the U.S. are tested for the hepatitis C virus. The CDC says it is now rare that someone getting blood products or an organ would get hepatitis C. That said, The CDC recommends that anyone over the age of 18 get tested for Hepatitis C. If you haven’t been screened, you should consider having it done.

Learn more about the risk factors for hepatitis C.

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What Is Hepatitis B Surface Antibody

When you are exposed to hepatitis B, your body mounts an immune reaction against it as an invader. This happens whether you are exposed due to blood or sexual contact or if you are vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine.

The hepatitis B virus has proteins on its surface that cause your immune system to produce antibodies. With the vaccine, the sample contains the protein only and not the virus itself.

The first response your body will make when exposed to hepatitis B is to manufacture hepatitis B IgM antibodies. These early antibodies are produced to fight against several parts of the virus including its core. These antibodies are seen in the initial response, but they eventually fade away.

Your immune system then begins to produce IgG antibodies. It continues to produce these antibodies for the rest of your life. In this way, your immune system is always ready to attack hepatitis B virus when it is exposed to it.

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Hepatitis C Can Be Prevented

Hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is an enveloped, positivestranded RNA ...

Although there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C, there are ways to reduce the risk of becoming infected.

  • Avoid sharing or reusing needles, syringes, or any other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs, steroids, hormones, or other substances.
  • Do not use personal items that may have come into contact with an infected persons blood, even in amounts too small to see, such as glucose monitors, razors, nail clippers, or toothbrushes.
  • Do not get tattoos or body piercings from an unlicensed facility or in an informal setting.

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How Does Hepatitis C Progress

When someone is first infected with hepatitis C, most likely they have no symptoms and are unaware. Occasionally people experience fatigue, loss of appetite, weakness or sometimes having a yellow color in their skin or eyes. Although having any symptoms at all is rare, if they do occur, they usually go away within a few weeks.

Around 15-25% of people who are infected will spontaneously fight off the virus on their own and they will not have a chronic hepatitis C infection and no long term damage occurs.

But around 75-85% of people will develop chronic infection. Most of the time, people with chronic hepatitis C have no symptoms at the time of infection and no symptoms for years or even decades of chronic infection. The virus will be with them until they are successfully treated with hepatitis C medications.

Around 10-20% of people with chronic infection will slowly have gradual damage in the liver over years and will eventually develop cirrhosis . This can take 20 years or more from the time of the initial infection.

Cirrhosis is the replacement of liver cells with permanent scar tissue. Cirrhosis can lead to problems such as bleeding from veins in the esophagus, fluid buildup in the belly, and damaged brain function.Approximately 15% of people with cirrhosis will develop liver cancer during their lifetime. Drinking excessively can double the chance of liver cancer in people infected with HCV.

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Possible Complications Of Hepatitis C

Theres one main complication of acute hepatitis C: It could become chronic.

If you go on to develop chronic hepatitis C, you could eventually experience a number of health complications, including:

  • Cirrhosis. With cirrhosis, scar tissue gradually replaces healthy tissue in your liver, blocking blood flow and disrupting liver function. Cirrhosis can eventually lead to liver failure.
  • Liver cancer. Having chronic hepatitis C raises your risk for eventually developing liver cancer. If you develop cirrhosis or your liver is very damaged before treatment, youll still have a higher risk for cancer after getting treated.
  • Liver failure. It takes a long time for your liver to fail. Liver failure, or end-stage liver disease, happens slowly over months, often years. When your liver becomes unable to function properly, youll need a transplant.

If you believe you contracted the hepatitis C virus, a good next step involves reaching out to a healthcare professional. Getting timely treatment can lower your risk for experiencing serious complications.

The sooner you get a diagnosis, the sooner your healthcare professional can start a treatment plan.

research continues.

Currently, the best way to protect yourself from the hepatitis C virus is to avoid using any items that may have come into contact with someone elses blood.

You can do this by:

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How The Test Works

The HCV antibody test requires a small blood sample. This sample is usually taken by a lab technician who draws a vial of blood from a vein in your arm. The actual blood draw usually takes less than a minute.

Your blood sample is then analyzed to see if antibodies for hepatitis C are present in your blood. Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins that your body creates to fight off pathogens.

Antibodies are specific to the virus or infection they are created to target, so if youve ever had hepatitis C, your body will have produced antibodies to fight it. If youve never had a hep C infection, those antibodies wont be present in your blood.

Results from the test can take anywhere from a few days to a week or two. Rapid tests for hepatitis C are also available if you need the results in an hour or less.

If your HCV antibody test comes back as reactive, it means that one of two things is true:

  • you have an active case of hepatitis COR
  • you have had hepatitis C at some point in the past

If you have hepatitis C, your body will have the ability to produce hepatitis C antibodies for the rest of your life. This is why a reactive result doesnt always mean that you have an active infection.

If your HCV antibody test comes back as nonreactive, it means two things are true:

  • you dont currently have hepatitis C AND
  • youve never had an active hepatitis C infection

What Does A Reactive Hepatitis C Antibody Test Mean

NY Cures Hep C Campaign: âLearn about Hepatitis C Testingâ? Animated Video

A reactive hepatitis C antibody test means that the patient has hepatitis C antibodies in his blood. However, since a person who has cleared the hepatitis C virus still tests positive for antibodies, a follow-up test is required to determine if he is currently infected, says WebMD.

Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus. It is spread when blood from an infected person enters the blood stream of a healthy person. Infected people experience symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, joint pain and jaundice. Some patients can live for years without any symptoms, which can lead to advanced liver disease due to delayed treatment. A hepatitis C antibody test is therefore the only sure determiner of a hepatitis C infection, says the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Tests After The Diagnosis

Once the doctor knows you have hep C, theyâll do tests to find out more about your condition. This will help determine your treatment. They could include:

  • Genotype tests to find out which of the six kinds of hepatitis C you have.
  • Liver function tests. They measure proteins and enzymes levels, which usually rise 7 to 8 weeks after youâre infected. As your liver gets damaged, enzymes leak into your bloodstream. But you can have normal enzyme levels and still have hepatitis C.
  • Tests to check for liver damage. You might get:
  • Elastography. Doctors use a special ultrasound machine to feel how stiff your liver is.
  • Liver biopsy. The doctor inserts a needle into your liver to take a tiny piece to examine in the lab.
  • Imaging tests. These use various methods to take pictures or show images of your insides. They include:

Hcv Core Antigen Detection

During the past decade, several assays for the detection of the core antigen of HCV by ELISA or CLIA have been developed. These assays were envisioned as alternatives to NAT to be used in resource-limited settings, where molecular laboratory services are either not available or not widely utilized owing to cost issues. Since these assays are either ELISA or CLIA based, they are user friendly, require less technical expertise and are less expensive compared to molecular techniques. Evaluations in transfusion settings have shown that the HCVcore Ag assay detects HCV infection as effective as NAT, about 40-50 days earlier than the current third generation anti-HCV screening assays. HCV core antigen levels closely follow HCV RNA dynamics, and allow clinical monitoring of a patient’s therapy, independently of HCV genotype. The major limitation of the HCV core Ag assay is its lower sensitivity limiting its utility. A new generation CLIA based quantitative test with sensitivity comparable to that of end point PCR but less than that of real time RT-PCR has been reported.

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Looking Further: Hcv Vaccines

Vaccine development for HCV is currently one of the most challenging fields in virology today. Various obstacles that hinder the development of an effective preventive or therapeutic vaccine for HCV include:

  • Considerable genetic heterogeneity of isolates within and between geographic locales .
  • Evolution and existence of quasispecies in an individual .
  • Poorly defined immunological correlates of protection.
  • Lack of efficient in vitro propagation to isolate the virus.
  • Despite these obstacles, both preventive as well as therapeutic vaccines for HCV are under development and also under various phases of vaccine trials, but a successful vaccine remains to be developed.

    Other Hepatitis C Tests

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is an enveloped, positivestranded RNA ...

    After an individual has received a reactive or positive result from a hepatitis C antibody test, they will need to have two follow-up tests.

    The first test checks to see whether a person still has the virus the other measures the amount of the virus in the blood.

    The first test is the hep C RNA qualitative test, also known as the PCR test. A positive result means that a person has the hepatitis C virus. A negative result means that the body has cleared the virus without treatment.

    The second test is the hep C RNA quantitative test. The result of this test is given as a number rather than a positive or negative. This is because the test compares the amount of the virus in the body before, during, and after treatment.

    The number given as a result of this test is known as the viral load. The lower amount of the hepatitis C virus in the blood, the better the chances that a person can eliminate the virus from their body.

    After hepatitis C virus is diagnosed, other tests may be needed:

    Certain behaviors, experiences, and medical procedures increase the risk of getting the hepatitis C virus, which is transmitted by contact with blood.

    The following are risk factors for contracting the virus:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise all baby boomers get tested for hepatitis C. Baby boomers are people born between 1945 and 1965. They are five times more likely to have the virus than other adults.

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    Home Screening Tests For Hepatitis C

    At-home screening tests provide privacy if you prefer not to go to a doctor or clinic for testing. These tests typically look for antibodies to hepatitis C, but they may not always test for active viral infection. Make sure you know what type of test youll be taking before you buy.

    Many at-home tests have close to or the same reliability as blood tests received by a medical professional.

    If youve recently been exposed to hepatitis C, wait several weeks before testing at home.

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    The Cdc Recommends You Get Tested If You:

    • Are 18 years of age and older
    • Have ever injected drugs, even if it was just once or many years ago
    • Received donated blood or organs before July 1992
    • Received clotting factor concentrates before 1987
    • Have been exposed to blood from a person who has hepatitis C
    • Were born to a mother with hepatitis C

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    Question 5 How Do You Interpret Hcv Antibody Reactive And Hcv Rna Not

    A reactive HCV antibody test result combined with a not-detected HCV RNA result indicates no laboratory evidence of a current active HCV infection no further action is required in most cases.

    If distinction between a true positive and a biologic false-positive result for HCV antibody is desired, the CDC suggests that one can consider testing with another HCV antibody assay. If there is concern regarding the handling or storage of the test specimen, obtain a new sample for repeat testing.6

    What Does The Test Measure

    Hepatitis | Diagnosis of Viral Hepatitis

    There are several types of HCV tests and depending on the test used, different analytes are detected.

    • Hepatitis C antibody test: Antibodies are a part of the bodys response to an infection. Testing for hepatitis C antibodies determines whether or not you have been exposed to HCV at some point in your life. If this test is positive, the next step is to test for hepatitis C RNA which can tell you if you have a current infection.
    • Hepatitis C RNA test: RNA is a type of genetic material from HCV that can be detected in the blood. If test results are positive after an antibody test, doctors use an RNA test to look for and/or measure the amount of the virus in the blood. Qualitative tests can detect the presence of HCV RNA, while quantitative tests measure the amount of HCV RNA. Understanding the amount of HCV in the blood helps monitor treatment response.
    • Genotype test: There are at least six types of hepatitis C these are also called strains or genotypes. Treatment for hepatitis C depends on the strain, so genotype testing to guide treatment is performed if you are diagnosed with an HCV infection.

    If you develop symptoms of hepatitis without known exposure to HCV, doctors typically order an acute viral hepatitis panel that looks for evidence of hepatitis A, B, and C in one sample of blood.

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    Getting Tested Is The Only Way To Know If You Have Hepatitis C

    A blood test called a hepatitis C antibody test can tell if you have been infected with the hepatitis C viruseither recently or in the past. If you have a positive antibody test, another blood test is needed to tell if you are still infected or if you were infected in the past and cleared the virus on your own.

    • Are 18 years of age and older
    • Currently inject drugs
    • Have ever injected drugs, even if it was just once or many years ago
    • Have abnormal liver tests or liver disease
    • Are on hemodialysis

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