Hepatitis B e antigen and hepatitis B e antibody

HBeAg is a secretory protein derived from the precore protein. 

HBeAg is commonly used as a proxy for HBV replication and infectiousness, and is frequently associated with elevated HBV DNA levels in serum and increased rates of HBV transmission between carrier mothers and their newborns, as well as between individuals.

The seroconversion from HBeAg to anti-HBe occurs early during acute HBV infection, before seroconversion from HBsAg to anti-HBs. 

In patients with chronic hepatitis B(CHB) HBeAg seroconversion may take years or even decades. 

The presence of HBeAg is typically associated with a high serum HBV DNA level and active liver disease in patients with CHB. 

Whether HBeAg is a predictive factor for clinical outcomes independent of HBV DNA levels in CHB patients is debated

During the first 2–3 decades of life, HBeAg-positive patients with acquired perinatal HBV infection may have normal ALT levels and minimal liver inflammation.

Seroconversion from HBeAg to anti-HBe in patients with CHB is frequently associated with a decrease in serum HBV DNA levels and remission of liver disease. 

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