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Improving Diagnosis of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Using Hepatitis C Core Antigen Testing in a Resource-Poor Setting.

Publication Type : Journal Article

Publisher : Rev Soc Bras Med Trop

Source : Rev Soc Bras Med Trop, Volume 54, p.e02532020 (2021)

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Keywords : Hepacivirus, hepatitis C, Hepatitis C Antibodies, Hepatitis C Antigens, Humans, RNA, Viral, sensitivity and specificity

Campus : Kochi

School : Center for Nanosciences

Center : Amrita Center for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine Move, Nanosciences

Department : Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine

Year : 2021

Abstract :
INTRODUCTION: We compared the hepatitis C virus (HCV) core antigen test with the HCV RNA assay to confirm anti-HCV results to determine whether the HCV core antigen test could be used as an alternative confirmatory test to the HCV RNA test.

METHODS: Sera from 156 patients were analyzed for anti-HCV and HCV core antigen using a chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (Architect i2000SR) and for HCV RNA using the artus HCV RG RT-PCR Kit (QIAGEN) in a Rotor-Gene Q instrument.

RESULTS: The diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the HCV core antigen assay compared to the HCV RNA test were 77.35%, 100%, 100%, and 89.38%, respectively. HCV core antigen levels showed a good correlation with those from HCV RNA quantification (r =0.872). However, 13 samples with a viral load of less than 4000 IU/mL were negative in the HCV core antigen assay. All gray-zone reactive samples were also RNA positive and were positive on repeat testing.

CONCLUSIONS: The Architect HCV core antigen assay is highly specific and has an excellent positive predictive value. At the present level of sensitivity (77%), the study is still relevant in a low-income setting in which most of the HCV-positive patients would go undiagnosed, since HCV RNA testing is not available and/or not affordable. HCV core antigen testing can also help determine the true burden of infection in a population, considering the fact that almost 50% of the anti-HCV positive cases are negative for HCV RNA.

Cite this Research Publication : Ayswarya Kannan, Dr. Lalitha Biswas, Anil Kumar, Jessy Kurian, Anjaly S. Nair, Parasmal Suresh, Shine Sadasivan, and Dr. Raja Biswas, “Improving Diagnosis of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Using Hepatitis C Core Antigen Testing in a Resource-Poor Setting.”, Rev Soc Bras Med Trop, vol. 54, p. e02532020, 2021.

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