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HBsAg Screening

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HBsAg Test Overview

HBsAg (Australia antigen) is the first serologic marker to appear in serum after Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection. Hbsag test is done for diagnosis of acute, recent, chronic cases of hepatitis. Test is positive after 4 weeks of infection but may be detected any time after the first week. Test plays an important role in  management of HBV disease. This test may be negative during a phase of disease known as 'window period', at this time Anti HBc IgM test is positive

HBV, or Hepatitis B Virus infection, is one of the five types of Hepatitis Virus. The other types of Hepatitis Virus infection are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D, and Hepatitis E. Hepatitis B Virus infection spreads through blood, seminal fluid, vaginal secretions, sharing needles, getting tattoos, getting piercings, and drug addictions to cocaine, heroine, etc. It takes several months to develop symptoms of HBV.

Once the virus enters the body, the proteins on the surface of the virus (called antigens) make your immune system create antibodies. After several weeks of infection, these surface antigens can get detected in your bloodstream. HBsAg Screening is the test to check whether you have a current or chronic HBV infection.

What are the types of Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver. There are in all seven types of Hepatitis. 

  • Hepatitis A - occurs due to exposure to HAV in food or water.
  • Hepatitis B - occurs due to HBV in body fluids like blood, semen, and vaginal secretion.
  • Hepatitis C - occurs due to HCV in body fluids like blood, semen, and vaginal secretion.
  • Hepatitis D - occurs due to coming in contact with HDV blood.
  • Hepatitis E - occurs due to exposure to HEV in food or water.
  • Autoimmune Hepatitis - occurs when the body's immune system turns against its liver cells.
  • Neonatal Hepatitis - occurs when the inflammation of the liver occurs in the early infant stage of the baby, that is, 1 to 2 months after delivery.
  • Who should do the HBsAg Screening?

    People who have signs and symptoms of Hepatitis - acute or chronic - should do the HBsAg Screening.

    The following symptoms are the markers of Hepatitis infection -

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Sudden nausea
  • Sudden Vomiting
  • Light-coloured or clay-coloured stools
  • Abdominal pain - in the right upper side of the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the joints
  • Jaundice - yellow skin and yellow eyes
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Unexplained weight loss

Written by: Dr. Pooja Trehan, M.D Pathology, Dept. of Heamatology

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HBsAg Screening Price

Metropolis Healthcare is a leading diagnostics centre and pathology lab in India equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technologies that provides the HBsAg Screening with a clear pricing structure.

The HBsAg Screening Price in Mumbai is ₹ 600 .

We are committed to deliver accurate and quality results from the best labs in India with complete transparency regarding test cost and turnaround time. No matter where you are, we strive to offer patients high-quality service that is affordable and accessible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Serologic testing for HBsAg is a primary screening test and patient diagnosis helps in treatment of HBV with antiviral agents. An early detection and treatment may prevent progression to hepatocellular carcinoma. Once diagnosed patient can be educated on prevention of ongoing HBV transmission, vaccination, and life-style modification

An HBsAg Screening gets done to:

  • Diagnose a suspected case of Hepatitis B Virus infection
  • Monitor the condition of infected patients
  • Check whether the infection gets resolved or the patient is now a chronic carrier of the Hepatitis B Virus.
  • Predicts the clinical outcome of the disease
  • Check for acute or chronic Hepatitis B Virus infection.
  • Check if the patient needs post-test counselling.
  • Check for the presence of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen in the patient's bloodstream.
  • do the

Hbsag test measures hepatitis b surface antigen in the blood of the patient. This antigen is produced throughout the active viral replication

Hbsag test requires a blood sample. A tourniquet (elastic) band is placed tightly on the upper arm. The patient is then asked to make a fist. This helps in the build-up of blood filling the veins. The skin is disinfected before needle insertion and the blood sample is collected in vacutainer

An individual positive for HBsAg is considered to be infected results should be interpreted in light of other serological tests. To avoid false positive a HBs Ag- conformation is advisable.
A negative test may result if patient is in the 'window period' or early on in the infection; in such a case Anti HBc IgM or HBV DNA detection may help diagnose the condition.
Persistence of HBsAg is associated with chronic infection. Presence longer than 6 months after initial exposure indicates chronic infection.

Other tests along with HBsAg Screening include the anti-HBc IgG test (Total Hepatitis B core antibody test) and the HBV-DNA test.

anti-HBc IgG test: Antibodies appear at the onset of symptoms in the case of acute Hepatitis B and stay for life.

HBV-DNA test: This test measures the viral load of HBV in the bloodstream.

No preparation for the HBsAg Screening. Usually detectable after 30 days.

A healthcare provider will take your blood sample. An elastic band will get tightly tied to the upper arm. Your skin will get disinfected with cotton soaked in alcohol. The healthcare provider inserts the needle into your vein just above your elbow to collect your blood. The blood will then get poured into a serum separator tube. You may feel a prick when the needle enters and exits your vein. The healthcare provider then puts clean cotton over the punctured area.

HBsAg Screening gets usually measured in milli-international units per litre.

Negative: Less than 5.00 mIU/L

Indeterminate: More than or equal to 5.00 mIU/L and Less than 12.0 mIU/L

Positive: More than 12.0 mIU/L

Warning signs of Hepatitis virus infection are as follows -

  • Easy bleeding
  • Easy bruising
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Itchy skin
  • Yellow colouration of eyes and skin
  • Fluid in the abdomen (a condition called ascites)
  • Dark urine

People with the following lifestyle pose a risk of HBV -

  • Having sex with a person infected with HBV priorly
  • Men having sex with other men
  • Living with someone who has the HBV infection
  • A baby whose mother has the HBV
  • Sharing needles for intravenous purposes
  • Working in a healthcare environment where exposure to HBV is common
  • Getting organ transplant
  • Getting blood transfusion
  • People with a prior HBV infection

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