The Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is mainly transmitted via blood or blood products. In addition, sexual, oral and perinatal infections are also possible. Early symptoms of the infection include appetite loss, vomiting and abdominal symptoms, with approximately 10-20% of those patients developing fever as well as rheumatoid joint and muscle pain. Jaundice, which may be accompanied by itching, will then develop within 2-14 days. Fulminant hepatitis then occurs in about 1% of all infected patients, which in severe cases may be fatal. Of those individuals infected by HBV, 5-10% will develop chronic liver inflammation which may progress to cirrhosis of the liver or, in the worst case, primary liver cell carcinoma. The HBV virus is a hepadnavirus that has a circular genome composed of partially double-stranded DNA.
All kit components should be stored at -20°C upon arrival. Repeated thawing and freezing (> 2 x) of the Master Mix, Control Master Mix and Positive Control should be avoided, as this may affect the performance of the assay. If the reagents are to be used only intermittently, they should be frozen in aliquots. All reagents can be stored for 1 year at -20°C without showing any reduction in performance.