Hepatitis is a medical concern characterized by the inflammation of the liver. It commonly occurs due to a viral infection, however, there are other possible causes like some drugs, medications, alcohol, and toxins, or autoimmune hepatitis. Autoimmune hepatitis is a disease that occurs when self-antibodies are made against the liver tissue.
This article covers the details of different types of hepatitis, common symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention.
Types of Hepatitis:
Broadly, hepatitis is of two types infectious and non-infectious. Non-infectious hepatitis includes alcoholic hepatitis and autoimmune hepatitis.
The five main classifications of hepatitis are hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. All the types of hepatitis have different causes (i.e. different types of viral strains of Hepatitis virus).
Hepatitis A – It is an HAV (hepatitis A virus) infection that is an acute, short-term disease. The common route of its transmission is contaminated food and water.
Hepatitis B – It is caused by the hepatitis B virus (an HBV infection) and is often a chronic condition. The person must come in contact with HBV in body fluids like sem-en, vag-inal secretions, or blood to have the infection.
Hepatitis C – It is an infection caused by a Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and is typically present as a long-term condition. Just like HBV, the Hepatitis C virus is found in body fluids.
Hepatitis D – It is caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV) found in the blood. It solely occurs in conjunction with Hepatitis B infection. Thus it is a rare form of viral infection as the person must have an existing Hepatitis B infection to contract HDV.
Hepatitis E – It is a waterborne infection that occurs when the person gets exposed to the Hepatitis E virus (HEV) after consumption of fecal-contaminated water. Mostly, it happens in areas with poor sanitation. This is an acute infection but for pregnant women, it can be serious.
The signs of having acute hepatitis appear shortly after contracting a hepatitis virus while the chronic form (hepatitis B and C) may not show symptoms until there is an effect on liver function.
Infectious hepatitis shows the following common symptoms:
- Dark urine
- Flu-like symptoms
- Pale stool
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Yellowing of skin and eyes (jaundice)
Different treatment options are available based on the type of viral strain of Hepatitis virus the patient has and whether the infection is short-term or long-term. Antiviral drugs are usually prescribed to treat infectious hepatitis while autoimmune hepatitis requires drugs that act on the immune system and suppress it such as corticosteroids.
Tips To Prevent Hepatitis:
Different types of hepatitis virus infection can be prevented by either using vaccines or following some preventive measures to minimize the risk of exposure to these viruses-containing substances.
Vaccines: Hepatitis A vaccine is available for children aged 12 to 23 months and even adults and involves a series of two doses. Hepatitis B vaccines are recommended by CDC for all newborns. It must be administered in a series of three vaccines over the first 6 months of the newborn. A hepatitis B virus can also help prevent hepatitis D infection. Currently, there are no vaccines for Hepatitis C or E.
Prevent transmission: A healthy person must not have contact with the body fluids, water, and food that contains the infectious agents from a diseased individual. Hepatitis A and E infection can be avoided by practicing effective hygiene. People must avoid ice, raw or undercooked shellfish and oysters, raw fruits and vegetables, and drinking local water in areas with a high prevalence of these types of hepatitis. For reducing the risks of having Hepatitis B, C, and D viral infections, a healthy person must avoid the use of personal items like razors, needles, toothbrushes and must not touch the spilled blood of an infected person.
Trivitron Contribution in Hepatitis Diagnosis:
Hepatitis B infection can irreversibly damage the liver and it is important to diagnose this medical condition at early as possible to get an effective treatment to prevent life-threatening conditions.
The Labsystems HBsAg ELISA KIT is an in vitro diagnostics qualitative immunoassay for the detection of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen. Samples used are human serum or plasma. It is a one-step Sandwich ELISA and adaptable to almost all ELISA readers and washers.
The kit is intended to screen blood donation samples to identify and eliminate the infected units of blood and is also popularly used for clinical diagnostic testing.
For more information about the Hepatitis Text kit visit https://www.trivitron.com/products/infectious-disease/elisa-tests/hbsag-elisa-kit .