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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 103-107

Detection of hepatitis C virus core antigen in blood donors using a new enzyme immunoassay

Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Alhusain J Alzahrani
Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 2114, Dammam 31451
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 23012059

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Objectives: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the presence of hepatitis C virus [HCV] core antigen (HCV core Ag) in blood donors at King Fahd Hospital of the University, Al-Khobar, using the new HCV core Ag assay, and to correlate this finding with anti-HCV antibodies detected in the same samples using the standard Abbott MEIA(microparticle enzyme immunoassay). Materials and Methods: A total of 898 samples from blood donors were analyzed using the new assay prototype designed to detect and quantify total HCV core Ag in serum (Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics). Positive results were confirmed by the neutralization assay. The results of the HCV core Ag assay were compared with the results of the standard Abbott MIEA which measures anti-HCV antibody. Results and Conclusions: Out of the 898 samples tested, 18 samples were found to be positive by the HCV core Ag assay (2%). Out of these, 3 samples were confirmed positive by the neutralization protocol (0.33%). All the HCV core Ag positive samples were negative for anti-HCV antibodies (using MEIA by Abbott). These 3 donors may have been in the window period of HCV infection, or may be low responders for the HCV antigens, and are thus unable to mount detectable antibody level. The HCV core Ag assay is a potentially useful assay for screening blood donors, which will minimize the risk of using HCV positive blood from a patient in the window period of HCV infection.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010