HEPATITIS B VIRUS CORE ANTIBODY
Mouse anti HBcAg monoclonal antibody (M412) is specific for Hepatitis B virus core antigen and has been developed for immunoassay research and development.
- Mouse monoclonal anti-human HBcAg
- Raised in mouse using purified HBcAg as immunogen
- Antibody pairs with MAB12301
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus, with a 3.2-kb covalently closed circular DNA, that belongs to the genus Orthohepadnaviruses of the Hepadnaviridae family of viruses. Currently, eight genotypes of HBV are recognised, designated A-H, with each genotype having a distinct geographical distribution. HBV is a retrovirus that replicates by reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate. Four genes are present on the virus genome; precore/core, polymerase (P), envelope (preS1/preS2/S) and X. The precore/core gene is responsible for expression of core protein as well as hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg), a serological marker of HBV infection correlating with high viral load (Tong et al., 2005).
HBV chronically infects 300 million people worldwide, and increases their risk to develop hepatocellular carcinoma by a hundred fold. It is a bloodborne virus that is transmitted through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. HBV infection may occur through various routes including the sharing of needles for injecting drugs, the use of inadequately sterilised medical equipment infected with HBV and the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products. In endemic areas, perinatal transmission of HBV from mother to child is common.
HBV infection causes liver disease which can vary from acute, or chronic hepatitis to cirrhosis of the liver and potentially hepatocellular carcinoma. The incubation of HBV infection can vary from 1 – 6 months. During the period of acute infection, most individuals remain asymptomatic. However, some patients develop acute illness presenting with clinical symptoms that include jaundice, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and extreme fatigue. Acute liver failure may occur in 1% of patients, which can be fatal. HBV infected patients may also develop chronic lifelong disease, which can progress to cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma in 20-30% of adult cases (WHO).
The asymptomatic nature of HBV infection, and the similarity of clinical symptoms to other types of hepatitis virus infection makes clinical diagnosis difficult. Therefore, laboratory diagnosis is undertaken using serological and molecular methods to detect HBsAg and specific IgM antibodies recognising core antigen HbcAg. The e-antigen is found in the blood only when there are viruses also present and is often used as a marker of ability to spread the virus to other people (infectivity). Measurement of e-antigen is used to monitor the effectiveness of HBV treatment, where successful treatment will usually eliminate HBeAg from the blood and lead to development of antibodies against e-antigen (anti-HBe). However, there are some types (strains) of HBV that do not make e-antigen, particularly in the Middle East and Asia, where testing for HBeAg is less useful.
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Tong S et. al. 2005. Hepatitis B Virus e Antigen Variants. Int J Med Sci. 2(1):2-7.
Seeger C, Mason WS. 2015. Molecular biology of hepatitis B virus infection. Virology.May;479-480:672-86.
World health Organization: Factsheet, Hepatitis B