University of California, Irvine Medical researchers have developed a cost-effective one-step test that can screen, detect, and validate hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, Director of the Center for Liver Diseases, reported the findings at the American Society of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Annual Meeting (AASLD). Existing blood HCV testing requires two steps and is expensive, inconvenient to operate, and is not widely available (or affordable) throughout the world.
“The new HCV antigen detection system significantly improves the sensitivity and specificity of the assay.It is important that this is our first use of urinary specimens for one step screening and diagnosis of HCV infection,” University of California, Owen Medical School, Hepatology and Gastrointestinal “We urgently need to find a more convenient, easy to use and cost-effective alternative screening method because HCV is difficult to screen and diagnose,” said Dr. Hu, Ph.D.
Although existing HCV screening assays are specific and sensitive, it does not distinguish between previous infections and active infections. And need blood samples, two steps. First, virus-specific antibodies are detected in the blood. Then, sensitive HCV RNA PCR was performed to confirm the active state of the infection. Dr. Hu said that many developing countries do not have the corresponding equipment for two-step testing, especially HCV RNA PCR detection. In the United States, its cost is more than $ 200. The new HCV antigen detection system developed by Dr. Hu’s University of California Irvine Medical School Laboratory can significantly reduce costs, manpower and time required for testing.
“Using urine instead of blood to detect infection status can avoid the use of blood collection and blood sample collection, greatly reducing costs and the necessary clinical equipment for screening and diagnosis,” says Dr. Hu. widely used.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 150 million people in the world and about 3.2 million people in the United States are infected with HCV. Effective screening and rapid diagnosis are key to the treatment and control of transmission.
“People who are infected with HCV can be cured before further liver damage and complications, but the premise is confirmed,” Dr. Hu said.
HCV-infected populations usually do not develop symptoms unless severe liver damage occurs, such as fibrosis, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. CDC recommends screening high-risk patients, including intravenous drug users, people who lost blood before 1992, and people born between 1945 and 1965.