The Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infects about 1/4 of the world’s population, more than 2 billion people, and is transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or body fluids (including semen and vaginal), and is not normally spread by airborne mechanisms. It may be spread by close personal contact and ingestion of contaminated water or food products.
The HBV infection causes a wide variety of hepatic (liver) problems. These include infection, chronic hepatitis with progression to cirrhosis and liver failure.
The test cassette contains a thin polymer membrane of Hepatitis B antigens. These antigens will capture any Hepatitis B antibodies in the drops of blood sample. If such capture occurs the C and T markers on the cassette will develop coloured lateral bands (see test section to interpret results).
The Accu-Hepatitis Test detects the antibodies up to 8 weeks before there is any visual or biochemical evidence of liver disease or jaundice.
The Hepatitis B virus is a hepaDNA virus and has a circular genome with some partially double-stranded DNA. Viral replication occurs primarily in the liver but the virus spreads to the circulatory system. The Accu-Hepatitis Test uses two drop of blood from a finger prick, and will detect even low levels of antibody.
Early Symptoms of Hepatitis B
Shortly after infection, the Hepatitis B virus will manifest itself in a general malaise. There is a feeling of ill health, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, body aches, and low level fever. Urine starts to darken and the disease then progresses to a development of jaundice. In some cases the infection may be asymptomatic and be unrecognized.
Mechanism of Viral Action
Alcohol worsens the effects of the disease because it modulates anti-viral and anti inflammatory functions of monocytes, and that prolonged alcohol consumption has a double negative effect of reducing the anti-viral effect of type 1 interferon, while increasing inflammation by the pro-inflammatory cytokine tnfa.
The Hepatitis B virus disrupts liver functionality. The virus binds to receptor cells in the liver causing heptocellular damage.
Hepatitis B infections may be acute or chronic. Persons with an acute infection may clear the infection in a period of several months. For others with a chronic infection treatment is obviously necessary. The virus persists in the body after infection and the disease may go through cycles of replication and non-replication. Individuals who remain positive for at least 6 months are carriers and in some cases may readily transmit the disease while in others there is a much lower risk of transmitting the infection. In any event, it is critical to diagnose the disease as early as possible.
There is no cure for the disease, and the purpose of early detection is to initiate treatment to reduce the severity and incidence of cirrhosis.
Interferon alpha therapy is widely used in the treatment of chronic hepetitis b,and nucleotide analogues are being increasingly used, but these provide only symptomatic relief.
Hepatitis C is an infectious disease caused by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). HCV is a single stranded RNA virus with a structural relation to the flavivirus family. The chronic HCV infection can lead to fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver.
The Hepatitis C virus is spread by blood to blood contact and although there may be an absence of initial symptoms the virus will persist in the liver of almost 90% of infected persons.
The disease is transmitted by a variety of routes including multi-use of needles for injection, contacting infected blood directly or though shared utensils etc... Improperly sterilized medical or dental equipment may harbour contaminated blood and has been a source of contamination.
The disease can be sexually transmitted but this is not a dominant level of risk. The sharing of personal items such as razors, toothbrushes etc. have been sources of cross contamination as have been needles used in tattoo parlours once a notorious source of infection.
Heptocellular carcenoma,the most common type of liver cancer, is the third leading cancer-related cause of death. The hepatitis c virus is the primary cause of liver cancer, and the gene- depdc5 is a catalyst in the carcinomic process.
Researchers have determined that EGCG a flavenoid found in green tea inhibits the hepatitis c virus from entering liver cells. this may help in preventing viral reinfection following liver transplants. green tea has been reputed to have a variety of benefits , but may prove most valuable in preventing hepatitis c reinfection, even when interferon treatment has faltered.
Approximately 300 million people are infected with Hepatitis C and 4 million new cases are added annually. About 20 thousand people die annually from Hepatitis C in North America and a substantial number of people in high risk lifestyles are co-infected with HIV and HCV.
The disease is considered in the acute stages for the first 6 months after infection and the vast majority of people do not develop visible symptoms. When symptoms do start to develop, they initially consist of flu-like symptoms with an increased loss of sensory perception. The symptoms may progress to loss of appetite, fatigue, abdominal pain and jaundice. Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplants in North America.
HCV is detectable by the Accu-Hepatitis Test about 15-20 days after initial infection.
The Accu-Hepatitis test is a precision immunochromatographic screen. The cassette contains a thin polymer film of HCV antigens. If HCV antibodies are present in the blood droplet the test will indicate a positive result and the intensity of the C band colour indicates the level of antibodies present in the blood.
Test Results for Hepatitis B and C Tests
A positive test for Hepatitis B or C indicates it would be prudent to contact a healthcare professional to discus your options. There is a moral and social obligation to take all necessary steps to avoid the possibility of spreading the infection. If you consider yourself at risk, the test should be repeated within 6 months.
Hepatitis A is an acute viral infection of the liver caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). Many cases have little or no symptoms especially in the young. The time between infection and symptoms, in those who develop them, is between two and six weeks. When there are symptoms they typically last eight weeks and may include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, yellow skin, fever, and abdominal pain. Around 10-15% of people experience recurrence of symptoms during the six months after the initial infection. Acute liver failure may rarely occur with this being more common in the elderly. Early symptoms of hepatitis A infection can be mistaken for influenza, but some sufferers, especially children, exhibit no symptoms at all. Symptoms typically appear 2 to 6 weeks (the incubation period) after the initial infection. 90% of children do not have symptoms. The time between infection and symptoms, in those who develop them, is between 2 to 6 weeks with an average of 28 days.
I is usually spread by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with infected feces. Poor sanitation and crowded living conditions are often present. Shellfish which have not been sufficiently cooked is a relatively common source. It may also be spread through close contact with an infectious person. While children often do not have symptoms when infected they are still able to infect others. After a single infection a person is immune for the rest of their life.
The Hepatitis A virus is a picornavirus; it is non-enveloped and contains a single-stranded RNA packaged in a protein shell. The presence of anti-HAV igM is the seriological marker for early detection of the disease by our lateral IMMUNO-ASSAY Test. In 2010, acute hepatitis A resulted in 102,000 deaths which is slightly up from 99,000 in 1990.
In the United States in 1991 there was a low mortality rate for Hepatitis A of 4 deaths per 1000 cases for the general population but a higher rate of 17. Per 1000 in those aged 50 and over. The risk of death from acute liver failure following HAV infection increases with age and when the person has underlying chronic liver disease.
Young children that are infected with Hepatitis A typically have milder form of the disease, usually lasting from 1-3 weeks, whereas adults tend to experience a much more severe form of the disease. Hepatitis A can be prevented by vaccination, good hygiene and sanitation.