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Should one check for hepatitis B before taking the vaccinations?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 8985 Questions
hi, I wanted to check if one should get hepatitis B test done after taking the vaccination 3 days before that? If no, then what is the chances of detecting hepatitis B positive because of that?
Posted Mon, 10 Jun 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 11 hours later
Hello and welcome to XXXXXXX

Thank you for writing to us.

I have gone through you query, and before answering your first query, I would like to ask when you were last tested for Hepatitis B? If you were tested for Hepatitis B before the vaccination (which is sometimes done in areas where Hep B is common, to check if the person is either already infected or if the person is already immune and does not require the vaccine), then you need not get yourself tested. But if you were not tested any time lately, then you could get yourself tested any time you wish.

Recommended testing for immunity in high risk individuals is done AFTER the vaccination in the following cases:children born to Hepatitis infected-mothers, individuals with exposure to Hepatitis B at work, multiple sex partners, multiple needle sharing individuals and those with a weakened immunity (eg. HIV infected people, etc.). So if you are not at high risk and have recently been tested negative, then you need not get tested. But if you have not been tested recently you can go ahead and get tested.

The only chance of a Hepatitis B positive result in your case would be if you were infected before the vaccination was given. As the vaccination in an already infected person will not help or have any effect. But if you were not infected before the vaccination, there is no chance for a positive result, and you have now been given an immunity to Hepatitis B thanks to the vaccine.

I hope this information helped you. Do write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help you.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Should one check for hepatitis B before taking the vaccinations? 10 hours later
I took the vaccination on thursday and got tested for antibodies on saturay, which came positive, however today again i got test for surface antigens(HBSAG) which was negative. Method was Immunochromatography. I think that the first test was positive because of taking vaccination and hence developing antibodies. What would be your views on this?
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 54 minutes later
Hello once again.

The recommended time gap to be given after a vaccination and testing for Hepatitis B is 2-3 months. The reason why this gap is recommended is due to the antibodies that could give a false-positive report.

So yes, the first investigation was a false-positive report as you said. I respect you for your will to learn more about everything you are going through, most patients do not go through the trouble.

But for your satisfaction you could repeat a test after 2-3 months, which will surely confirm your status.

Wishing you lots of luck and love for the future.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Should one check for hepatitis B before taking the vaccinations? 2 days later
Do you have a feeling for the accouracy of measurement of these methods, one of the doctors indicated that that i have 1.04 with HBSAG test by architect of abbott company. He mentioned that it the cutoff was ~1. Could it be the accuracy of the tool? how accurate is this measurement opposed to elisa test? your reply would be highly appreciated?
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 20 minutes later
Hello once again.

While comparing the two tests I would have to say that immuno-chromatography is not always accurate and a positive result does not warrant the initiation of treatment, as false-positive results are common.

PCR and ELISA are much more accurate and sensitive. But PCR is very expensive and not easily available in hospitals, but ELISA is much more affordable and more easily available at hospitals.

I hope this helps. Do write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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