Hepatitis B e-antigen (HBeAg)


This is a viral protein associated with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infections. Unlike the surface antigen, the e-antigen is found in the blood only when viruses are present in the blood (and not only in the liver). HBeAg is often used as a marker of infectivity. Measurement of e-antigen may also be used to monitor the effectiveness of HBV treatment. Successful treatment will usually eliminate HBeAg from the blood and lead to development of antibodies against e-antigen (anti-HBe). There are some strains of HBV that do not make e-antigen and these are especially common in the Middle East and Asia. In areas where these strains of HBV are common, testing for HBeAg is not very useful.

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