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Laboratory Test Reference Guide

Laboratory Information

Test Name

Hepatitis B serology


Hepatitis B surface antigen
Hepatitis B surface antibody
Hepatitis B core Ab
Hepatitis B core IgM
Hepatitis B e Antigen
Hepatitis B e Antibody

External Price (excl. GST)

Hepatitis B s Ag


Hepatitis B s Ab


Hepatitis B core Ab


Hepatitis B core IgM


Hepatitis B e Ab


Hepatitis B e Ag


Hepatitis B s Ag supplementary test


Specimen Collection

Adult Specimen

5ml Gold tube blood or 500 uL serum

Test Information



Test Availability

Mon - Fri, 0800 - 1630 excl. Public Holidays

Laboratory Turnaround Time

24-48 hours


Cobas Pro

Diagnostic Use Or Instructions

Hepatitis B status includes Hepatitis B s Ag, Hepatitis B s Ab and Hepatitis B core Ab.

Further tests will be performed as required.

Choosing Clinical Laboratory Tests Wisely Guidelines:

  • Clinicians should try to identify patients with raised LFTs due to chronic¬† viral hepatitis,
  • All HBsAg-positive pregnant women should have their HBV viral load measured,
  • All HCV PCR-positive patients should be referred to a specialist, for consideration of treatment with oral direct acting antiviral therapies (DAA).
  • New Zealand wide Many HBsAg-positive patients are not being properly followed up or referred, and stand the risk of developing preventable liver disease.
  • HBsAg is present in almost all actively infected persons with HBV and is the first test that shouldbe requested if HBV infection is suspected.
  • HBV surface antibody is a test that should really only be ordered for adults in occupational health settings, preferably within a few months of the final dose of vaccine: those who develop a clear response will be protected for life.
  • HBV e antigen predicts high titres of virus, but its absence does not exclude high viral loads, especially in adults who were infected in childhood.
  • HBV DNA measurement is an essential part of assessment and management

Note: Waikato DHB Laboratory screen with HBsAg, anti-HBs and anti-HBc to reduce the need for repeat testing. HBc IgM may help in selected cases for Public Health to determine if the infection is acute.