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The incubation period, symptomatology and diagnostic methods of hepatitis b

Note that the incubation period of hepatitis b runs long enough. Therefore, the first weeks and even months the disease may not display any signs.

The causative agent of hepatitis b (serum hepatitis) is a DNA-containing virus, and a carrier - a person who is sick with any form of the disease (acute, chronic, or prolonged), or is infected with HIV.

Situations in which hepatitis b is most likely:

  • transfusion of untested blood donations, especially in large quantities;
  • through sexual contact;
  • if you use the same needle from the syringe by different people (the most common route of infection in drug addicts);
  • transmission of infection from mother to child.

It could be infected by contact-household, when infected material enters the damaged surface of the skin or mucous membranes (in the piercing parlors and tattoo, manicure/pedicure, an appointment at the dentists, if there is no proper handling tools, etc.)

In typical cases, allocate 4 periods of the disease: the incubation period of hepatitis b predzheltushnogo, jaundice (also called peak) and the period of convalescence.

Этапы прогрессирования гепатита В

HbsAg (surface antigen of hepatitis b virus, or "Australian antigen") is the main information the marker of this disease. It appears in the blood earlier than all other markers, sometimes even early increase of hepatic transaminases (ALT, AST).

The presence of HbsAg indicates the presence of hepatitis b virus in the human body, but due to a number of reasons for a negative test for HbsAg can not 100% exclude the presence of virus in the blood. To clarify the situation, the blood donor additionally examined for other antibodies:

  1. Anti-Hbs appear after 3 months from onset of disease also occur when there is effective vaccination.
  2. HBeAg indicates increased proliferation of cells of the virus, increases during malignant hepatitis, is found mid-incubation period. Prolonged circulation in the blood (more than 10 weeks indicates transition of the disease into the chronic form.
  3. Anti-HBC IgM - marker of acute course of hepatitis b, evidence of contact with hepatitis B.
  4. Anti-HBC IgG usually not defined in the incubation period, begin to circulate in the blood after 6 months of onset of illness and persist for life.
  5. Anti HBe - indicate completion of the first stage of a virus attack the cells of the liver (stages of replication and circulates in the serum blood long enough (about 2 years).

If blood is detected in at least one ofthe above markers, the diagnosis is hepatitis B.

Depending on the species of the detected marker is specified, the phase of the disease.

The incubation period of hepatitis b is replaced by the predzheltushnogo and icteric periods when clinical manifestations are quite obvious and the correct diagnosis becomes easier.