Hepatitis A – Serology

Testing Indications

Testing for Hepatitis A serology may be indicated for the work-up of patients with suspected acute viral hepatitis, to determine immune status (following recovery from natural infection or as a result of immunization), and as part of an epidemiologic investigation (e.g. outbreak investigation).

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Hepatitis A1


Immunity2  1.0mL

Diagnostic2  2.0mL

Immunity+ Diagnostic2  2.0mL

Blood, clotted – Vacutainer tubes (SST)

Submission and Collection Notes


Detailed instructions for ordering Hepatitis A testing, including immunity and/or diagnostic, are available to assist with completing the “Hepatitis Serology boxes” in section 3 of the General Test Requisition. 


For testing all Hepatitis markers, HIV, HTLV, Syphilis and Rubella, you only are required to submit two FULL red top or serum separator tubes (SST).


Do NOT submit glass tubes.


Haemolysed, icteric, lipemic or microbially contaminated serum is not recommended for testing. Specimens more than 10 days post collection will not be tested.

Preparation Prior to Transport

Label the specimen container with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Centrifuge if using SST. Place specimen in biohazard bag and seal. Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C following collection.

Special Instructions

Instructions for using SST tubes are found in the document titled: LAB-SD-008, Blood Collection using Serum Separator Tubes

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Hepatitis A – Serology testing is performed daily Monday to Friday.

Turnaround time is up to 3 days from receipt by PHO laboratory.


Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

Positive Hepatitis A IgM results are reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per Reportable Diseases Regulation.

Test Methods

Specimens for Hepatitis A serology are tested using a chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA) for the qualitative detection of IgG antibodies and IgM antibodies to human Hepatitis A virus.


A positive result for Hepatitis A IgG (in the absence of Hepatitis A IgM) indicates immunity to hepatitis A virus.

A positive result for Hepatitis A IgM with or without a positive Hepatitis A IgG suggests recent/acute infection with hepatitis A. It may also be due to non-specificity of the test assay as a result of non specific cross-reacting antibodies (e.g. Rheumatoid factor, etc.).

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Updated 2 Oct 2020