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Hepatitis B Core Antibody

Alias: anti-HBc

Discipline: Virology

Test information: Hepatitis B Core Antibody is an indicator of current or past Hepatitis B infection. Used in to screen patients pre-chemotherapy / biological therapy to assess the risk of re-activating Hepatitis B. Positive samples will undergo further testing for other Hepatitis B markers to determine whether there is chronic ongoing infection. Hepatitis B Core Antibody may be temporarily positive in patients who have recently received blood products.

Availability: Available locally Monday - Friday during routine hours: 08:45 - 17:15.

Turnaround Time: 4 Days

Specimen Type(s)
  • Clotted blood;
Other Acceptable Specimen Type(s)
Specimen Container - Adult
  • Gold Top SST BD;
Specimen Container - Paediatric
  • Plain Top Sarstedt;
  • Hepatitis B core antibody;
Part of a test profile?
Volume (min) of sample to be sent to laboratory
5 - 10mL
Patient Preparation, Sample Handling and Transport
  • Minimum-clotting time 30 minutes.
  • Specimens should be transported to the laboratory as soon as possible.
  • Outside of normal hours samples should be refrigerated (2 °C to 8 °C).
  • Do NOT send grossly haemolysed specimens <> 500 mg/dL)
  • Do NOT send specimens with obvious microbial contamination.
Maximum add on time
Units and Reference Ranges / Interpretation
Anti-Hepatitis B Core Total Antibodies: Non reactive / Reactive
The presence of anti-HBc does not differentiate between acute or chronic hepatitis B infection.
UKAS number
UKAS accredited test?

If the anti-HBc results are inconsistent with clinical evidence, additional testing is suggested to confirm the result.

Results should be used in conjunction with the results of other tests and clinical picture.

Heterophilic antibodies in human serum can react with reagent immunoglobulins, interfering with in vitro immunoassays. Patients routinely exposed to animal or to animal serum products can be prone to this interference.

Specimens from patients who have received preparations of mouse monoclonal antibodies for diagnosis or therapy may contain human anti-mouse antibodies (HAMA). Specimens containing (HAMA) may produce anomalous values when tested.

If you have any queries about a test or results interpretation please contact us.

Last updated: 06-06-2023