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Inactive virus with near null antibodies
Hi
My doctor told me that my test results came back with very few antibodies present with it being "near null". She told me that the virus is inactive.
So what exactly does this mean?? Anyone on the same boat?
She told me that I don't have to worry about it and there was nothing that can be done to get rid of these antibodies. She said the only thing to do is to continue routine tests every 6 months or yearly to follow it's status..
So this means that it can progress to something much worse? My concern is what can trigger it to get worse??
Should my partner be con
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Did you have an anti-HCV test? This confirms the presence of antibodies to the virus, which means that you were exposed at some point.

Can you post exactly what appears on your lab report? All the Anti-HCV tests I've seen were accompanied by a pair of numbers called the "signal to cutoff ratio", or S/CO. If this number is high (greater than say, 10 or 12) the likelihood of an active infection is greater. My lab report (with a S/CO of 28.0) actually said further testing was unlikely to disprove this finding due to the high S/CO ratio.

Please note that this test having a high S/CO IS NOT DEFINITIVE for chronic HCV. All the studies I read up on just indicated that IT WAS MORE LIKELY to be active the higher the S/CO is. You have to get another test to actually confirm the presence of infection. There are various names for them, most will have the letters PCR and/or RNA in the name of the test.

We really need more info to answer your question.

Just because you've been exposed doesn't mean you will have chronic hepatitis. A substantial number of people (perhaps 15-25%) clear the virus on their own.

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Heh, for some reason, my comment seemed to "auto-post" before I completed my thought.

I was going to say that it sounds to me like your Doc was saying that the S/CO ratio was very, very low.

That's a good thing :-)

Best of luck to you!

Robert
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I will have to get a copy of my lab report..
All the Doctor told me was that the virus is inactive but there are few antibodies present, close to null...
She also explained that it meant that I don't have an infection and that the virus is dormant.

When you say that the virus can be cleared on it's own, do you mean fully or do you mean that it will clear to be in the state I'm in...which is with close to null antibodies present?
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There is no such thing as "dormant" virus.  However, some people clear the virus spontaneously.  Those people will test positive for HCV antibodies, but a viral load test will not show detectable virus.

The test for viral load is HCV RNA by PCR.  Have you had this test, or just one for antibodies?
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Again, antibodies only prove that you were exposed.

By "clearing" I mean that in some people, their immune system is able to defeat the initial infection, and that's the end of it. Just like a cold. The antibodies will never go away, but the HEPATITIS VIRUS has been BEATEN. It's over. Done with.

Score: Virus 0, Immune System 1

WHOO HOO!

Note that in and of themselves, anitbodies are not "bad things". They are what your immune system uses to kill bad things :-)

Post the exact wording on your lab result. There are tons of peeps on here more knowledgeable than me. I only found out I had this disease a couple weeks ago.

Robert

P.S. Never let your doctor leave you wondering. It's their job to make sure you understand exactly what's going on. After all, it's your liver, not theirs :-)
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87972 tn?1322664839
You’re getting good advice here, Concerned. Let’s try to look at this in a slightly different light, though.

Antibodies, as mentioned by Robert, are a product of our own immune response. They’re produced by our bodies to help fight off foreign disease; in this case, a virus. You might have had measles or mumps as a child; or even flu. When you got these bugs, your immune system kicked out antibodies to fight these off; and while the flu virus is no longer present and you don’t have flu any more; the flu antibodies are still present.

Same thing with Hep C; you still have residual antibodies, and probably will for life. They don’t do any harm; they won’t hurt you or make you sick; but they’ll always be there.

Another scenario is that the test results themselves were false positive; that is, something else ‘fooled’ the test, and that you were never exposed to the HCV virus to begin with.

Either way, it sounds as though you don’t have anything to be concerned about. Ask your doctor if a ‘HCV RIBA’ test would be indicated; this would determine if the test was false positive, or if in fact you’d been exposed, and successfully fought off the virus. In any event, it sounds as if you’re off the hook regardless.

As mentioned above, if you’re still having trouble understanding this, make sure the doc explains it until you do.

Take care, and have fun—

Bill  
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