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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-54

Hepatitis B virus serology: Use and interpretation

1 Sir H. N. Hospital, Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road, Mumbai-400 004, India
2 Department of Gastroenterology, S.C.B. Medical College, Cuttack-753 007, India

Correspondence Address:
Sunil M Shah
Consultant Gastroenterologist, Sir H. N. Hospital, Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road, Mumbai 400 004
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9747.45088

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Hepatitis B is a well-recognized global public health problem. It is estimated that nearly 2 billion people around the world have serologic evidence of past or present hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, while 350 million people are chronically infected. This worldwide burden of hepatitis B mandates accurate and timely diagnosis of patients infected with HBV and the use of treatment strategies derived from evidence-based guidelines. HBV is a DNA virus that produces a series of viral protein products. Serologic and nucleic acid testing are critical to disease prevention and treatment objectives. Information from such testing helps determine patients' infectivity and immune status, appropriate monitoring strategies, and the efficacy of treatment, as well as providing data that contributes to a better understanding of the natural history and epidemiology of the disease. This article reviews the clinical use of serologic and nucleic acid tests as markers of disease activity.

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