Hepatitis B serologies are available on a limited basis for diagnosis of acute and chronic disease, for monitoring the course of disease and the effectiveness of therapy, and for screening select patient populations. Hepatitis A IgM testing is available on a limited basis for the diagnosis of acute disease.
Three types of testing panels are available: diagnostic, screening, and monitoring.
Serologic testing for hepatitis infection is available only to patients who are seen in local health departments and state-operated health care facilities.
Hepatitis B virus testing is available to the following patient populations:
Hepatitis A virus serology is available to patients who are:
Routine testing for either hepatitis A or B is limited to those groups listed above; however, if you have special needs that are not addressed in the acceptance criteria, please call (919) 733-7544. Special arrangements for testing can be made on an individual basis.
NOTE: Hepatitis B immune status testing will not be performed to determine immune status of health care workers, dental workers, etc. who are candidates for routine vaccination or to establish routine post-vaccination immunity.
A full 3 mL of serum should be submitted for hepatitis testing in a well-constructed plastic screw capped vial with threads on the outside. Serum transport tubes should not be overfilled past the 3.0 mL line in the tubes. Excessively hemolyzed, grossly contaminated, or extremely lipemic sera are unacceptable for hepatitis assays. Specimens that are not acceptable for testing will be reported as UNSATISFACTORY.
Clearly label each vial of serum with the patient's full first and last name and either SSN, date of birth, or other unique identifier. Complete a submission form DHHS Hepatitis Serology Form #3722 (PDF, 103 KB). All items on this form must be completed before the specimen can be processed. Failure to supply the requested patient information may result in significantly delayed specimen testing.
Specimens submitted for testing that are not labeled with the correct patient identification information will not be tested. Specimens which, for any reason, are deemed unsuitable or inappropriate for serologic testing will not be tested. Rejected specimens will be properly stored for ten days pending verbal and/or written notification of the submitter. Unless alternate arrangements are initiated by the submitter upon notification of specimen rejection, the specimen will be discarded at the end of the holding period.
Properly identified vials of patient sera along with the completed submission forms should be sent in buff colored specimen mailers labeled HEP SEROLOGY. For detailed shipping instructions using the double mailers, see Packing Instructions Using Outer Baggie (PDF, 4.6 MB). Ship at ambient temperature by the State Courier or U.S. Mail. Specimens should be shipped immediately and should arrive in the laboratory within 48 hours of collection. If transport to the laboratory is to be delayed, specimens can be refrigerated up to seven days or frozen.
Serum transport tubes and buff colored specimen mailers are available through the NCSLPH online supply ordering system at this website. DHHS Hepatitis Serology Form #3722 (PDF, 103 KB) may be downloaded and printed from this website.
The following chart provides information regarding turn-around-times, test methods, and negative reference ranges:
|Test||Test Method||Negative Reference Range||Turn-Around-Time|
|Hepatitis B virus surface antigen||IA-Qualitative Screen||Antigen not detected||2 working days|
|Hepatitis B virus surface antigen||IA-Confirmatory||Interpreted by report||3 working days|
|Hepatitis B virus core-IgM antibody||IA-Qualitative||No antibody detected||3 working days|
|Hepatitis B virus core-total antibody||IA-Qualitative||No antibody detected||3 working days|
|Hepatitis B virus surface antibody||IA-Qualitative||No antibody detected||3 working days|
|Hepatitis A virus IgM antibody||IA-Qualitative||No antibody detected||1 working day|