Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver and can lead to scarring, cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis can be caused due to auto-immune diseases, alcohol or toxic substances. Hepatitis C is transmitted through blood to blood contact with someone infected with HCV.
Hepatitis C Antibodies are the antibodies produced by the immune system to fight the hepatitis C Antigens. Antibodies are the protective proteins produced by the immune system and also known as immunoglobulins. Antibodies are produced when any foreign substance or virus or bacteria enters into the body. These foreign substances are known as antigens. Antibodies recognize and attach to the antigens in order to remove them from the body. There are five (5) subtypes of antibodies and they are IgG, IgM, IgA, IgD, IgE.
IgG provides long-term protection as it is present in the circulation for long period after the presence of an antigen. IgM enhances the ingestion of cells by phagocytosis. IgA is also the first defense for intestine, lungs, and nose. They bind antigens to the microbes before they invade tissues and keeps antigens in secretion and when secretion is expelled, antigens are also expelled. IgD helps in the induction of antibody production and presents on the surface of B-cells. IgE binds to the basophils and mast cells.
This test is performed to check the presence of Hepatitis C Antibodies in the blood. The doctor may ask you to undergo this test if you are suffering from symptoms and conditions such as liver cancer, cirrhosis, jaundice, fever, dark urine, abdominal pain, joint pain etc. This test helps to differentiate acute and chronic HCV infection. If an individual is on the treatment for Hepatitis C virus HCV, then the doctor may ask to perform this test to evaluate and to check the effectiveness of the treatment and Hepatitis C Antibodies levels in the blood.
This test should be done after 6-7 weeks of infection. If you have been diagnosed with HCV, your doctor may advise you to get this test done once in a year based on your clinical condition. If you are a healthy individual above the age of 35, your doctor may advise you to undergo this test either on a yearly basis or every other year.
Some medications may change the levels of antibodies in the blood and hence you are advised to inform all your current medications to the doctor prior to the test. Rheumatoid factor and autoimmune diseases can give rise to false positive results. False negative results are seen in early acute infection and immunosuppression.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your HCV Elisa Test. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for HCV Elisa Test.
There are no specific preparations required for this test.
If the test results are negative it may indicate that there is no Hepatitis C Antibodies in the blood and no infection of Hepatitis C Virus HCV.
In case the test results are positive it may indicate that there are Hepatitis C Antibodies in the blood and acute infection of Hepatitis C Virus HCV.
|OTHER||All age groups||The antibodies are not normally present. They are present in positive cases|