The standard serologic markers used to diagnose hepatitis B infection include hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs), total hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc), and IgM antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (IgM anti-HBc). Different markers or combinations of markers are used to identify different phases of HBV infection and determine whether a patient has acute or chronic infection or immunity due to prior infection or vaccination or is seronegative and susceptible to future infection. Isolated HBsAg seropositivity is a peculiar serological pattern that requires investigation. Herein, we present a case of an asymptomatic female without a history of liver disease or evident risk factors for hepatitis, who underwent screening for infectious disease prior to resection of basal cell carcinoma involving her eyelid. The patient’s laboratory testing showed positivity for HBsAg and the HIV 1/2 screen. To investigate, we performed serial dilutions, utilized heterophilicantibody blocking tubes, and repeated analysis using a different commercial assay (Abbott Architect i2000), all in support of a false-positive result attributed to a heterophilic antibody. Hence, we demonstrate that heterophilic antibody interference can result in isolated HBsAg positivity and recommend considering this form of interference in the differential where there is low clinical suspicion for viral infection.
Copyright © 2021 Victoria Costa et al.