Hepatitis B e-antigen (HBeAg) is a viral protein associated with HBV infections. Unlike the surface antigen, the e-antigen is found in the blood only when there are viruses also present. When the virus goes into “hiding,” the e-antigen will no longer be present in the blood. HBeAg is often used as a marker of ability to spread the virus to other people (infectivity). Measurement of e-antigen may also be used to monitor the effectiveness of HBV treatment; successful treatment will usually eliminate HBeAg from the blood and lead to development of antibodies against e-antigen (anti-HBe). See Hepatitis Bs Antigen (HBsAg), Serum
Specimen Preparation Separate serum or plasma from cells ASAP or within 2 hours of collection.