The current standard in diagnosing hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection requires two sequential steps that make it suboptimal, costly, inconvenient, time consuming, and globally not widely available or affordable. Now researchers have developed a novel enzyme immunoassay that accomplishes screening and diagnosis in one simple and affordable step.
In a Hepatology study that included 365 blood specimens, the assay was highly sensitive and specific for HCV infection.
"Chronic HCV infection affects approximately 170 million individuals worldwide and is associated with risk of progression to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma," the authors wrote. "Although health professional practice guidelines advocate screening for HCV infection, recent studies indicated a significant deficit in screening and diagnosis of HCV infection."