A positive anti-HBc test result indicates either a previous or ongoing HBV infection. The presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) indicates acute or chronic infection, which in the presence of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) is typically associated with a high viral load. Appearance of anti-HBe indicates nonreplicative chronic infection with low viral load. Anti-HBc associated with anti-HBs indicates recovery. Anti-HBs also develops in those who have been vaccinated against HBV. Anti-HBc associated with low-level HBV DNA indicates OBI. Negative anti-hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) with detectable HBV DNA suggests window period infection or, rarely, primary OBI. OBI, occult HBV infection. | Allain J-P, Opare-Sem O. Screening and diagnosis of HBV in low-income and middle-income countries. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol [Internet]. 2016 Sep 14 [cited 2017 Apr 13];13(11):643–53. Available from:

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