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What are hepatitis C virus antibodies?

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Quick Answer

Hepatitis C antibodies are used by health care providers to detect and diagnosis hepatitis C viral infection in serologic screening tests, according to Mayo Medical Laboratories. When the result of this test is reactive, this means that hepatitis C antibodies were present and the person has been exposed to HCV.

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Full Answer

Antibodies are small proteins called immunoglobins that are produced by the body's immune system to help protect against infection, explains Patient.info. When a harmful substance, such as a virus, is detected, unique antibodies are produced and circulate in the blood stream.

Serologic tests for HCV screen for the presence of specific antibodies related to this virus, which indicates that a person has been infected with HCV in the past or is currently infected, reports Mayo Medical Laboratories.

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