Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is endemic throughout the world, however, occurring most commonly in areas of poor hygiene and low socioeconomic conditions. The virus is transmitted primarily by the fecal-oral route, and it is spread by close person-to-person contact and by food- and water-borne epidemics. Viral spread by parenteral routes (e.g., exposure to blood) is possible but rare, because infected individuals are viremic for a short period of time (usually <3 weeks). There is little or no evidence of transplacental transmission from mother to fetus or transmission to newborn during delivery.
Limitations • Test cannot be used to determine immune status to Hepatitis A. • The results determined by different assays from different manufacturers can vary due to differences in assay specificities and cannot be used interchangeably. • Assay performance characteristics have not been evaluated for immunocompromised, immunosuppressed, infants, children or adolescent patients. • A reactive or positive result does not exclude co-infection by another hepatitis virus.
Serological diagnosis of acute viral hepatitis A depends on the detection of specific anti-HAV IgM. Its presence in the patient's serum indicates a recent exposure to HAV. Anti-HAV IgM becomes detectable in the blood within 2 weeks after infection, persisting at elevated levels for about 2 months before declining to undetectable levels by 6 months. Positive results should be correlated with the patient’s clinical history.
Hepatitis A is a reportable disease in Wisconsin and other states.
a. Hepatitis A IgM
b. Hep A Ab-Igm (Anti-HAV)