The Food and Drug Administration has approved a test that can screen as well as confirm the presence of hepatitis B. Medical professions can now use the test to check the blood that is donated for the hepatitis B virus. In addition the test can also be used to check the organs and tissues from cadavers.
Currently the screening and confirmation of hepatitis B are separate tests. The approval for Abbott PRISM HBsAg Confirmatory lab means both tests can be done at the same time.
"This automated test system increases the efficiency and convenience of screening blood, tissue and organ donors for the hepatitis B virus," said Dr. Jesse Goodman, director of FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. "Improvements in blood donor screening and testing over the last few years have helped make the nation's blood supply safer from infectious diseases than it has been at any other time."
Hepatitis B virus infects the liver and in some cases can cause infection, cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure and death.