Synonyms: Antibody to Hepatitis A Virus; Anti-HAV Total; HAVAb Total

Why It Is Done

Diagnose and identify the type of hepatitis virus causing the infection.
Screen people who have an increased risk of getting or spreading a viral hepatitis infection.
Screen potential blood donors and donor organs to prevent the spread of hepatitis.
Determine whether a person has developed antibodies after receiving vaccinations for hepatitis A. The presence of antibodies to hepatitis A virus (anti-HAV) indicates the vaccinations were effective.
To further evaluate abnormal liver function tests.

Test Overview

HAV infection is spread through food or water that has been contaminated by the feces (stool) of an infected person.

IgM anti-HAV antibodies indicate a recent infection with hepatitis A virus. IgM anti-HAV antibodies generally can be detected in the blood as early as 2 weeks after the initial HAV infection. These antibodies disappear from the blood 3 to 12 months after the infection.

IgG anti-HAV antibodies mean that you have had a hepatitis A viral infection. About 8 to 12 weeks after the initial infection with hepatitis A virus, IgG anti-HAV antibodies appear and remain in the blood for lifelong protection against HAV.

How To Prepare

No special preparation is necessary.