Hepatitis B Markers Made Easy

  1. HBsAG: Surface antigen
  • Positive in:
  1. Acute infection (first marker to rise)
  2. Chronic infection (> 6 months)


  1. HBsAB (IgG): Surface antibody
  • It represents victory; victory can be achieved in two ways:
  1. Resolved acute infection
  2. Immunization


3. HBcAB: Core antibody

  1. IgM appears during “acute” phase and persists during “window” phase (the only marker +ve during “window” phae)
  2. IgM converts entirely to IgG after 6 months. So IgG is +ve in:

    A. Resolved acute infection
    B. Chronic infection

NOTE: HBsAG is protective but HBcAB is not.


  1. HBeAG:
  • It results from breakdown of core antigen from infected liver cells and is, therefore, marker of infectivity (i.e,. patient can transmit infection to others).

Mnemonic: ”e” for envelope – Envelope is used for sending letters to others

Be nice whenever possible. It is always possible.