Evaluation of the available anti-HCV antibody detection tests with RT-PCR assay, in the diagnosis of hepatitis C virus infection

Original article


Amina Abusedra 1, Fatma Najam 2, Mona Elsherif 2,Rabha Elbress 2.

1-Department of Microbiology, Alarab Medical University, Benghazi, Libya 2-Laboratory of Benghazi Center for Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Benghazi, Libya

Libyan J Infect Dis. 2010;4(1):41-45


Background/Aim: An accurate diagnosis of HCV infection is necessary before patients are counseled and treatment is initiated. Since the identification and molecular characterization of the hepatitis C in 1989 a variety of diagnostic tests based on the detection of anti-HCV antibodies in serum samples have been developed and refined. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the commercially available antibody tests in the diagnosis of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection by comparing their results with the RT-PCR (RT-polymerase chain reaction) test.
Materials and Methods: In the present study 624 specimens were tested for the presence of anti-HCV antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests. All the specimens were 100% positive. To confirm the diagnosis of HCV infection either recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA) and RT-PCR or RT-PCR only were performed according to the manufacture`s instructions.
Results: In our study all indeterminate results of RIBA were positive by ELSA test. The false positivily of ELISA screening test for HCV- antibodies as compared with RIBA was 2.28%. Out of the 624 samples 411 (65.8%) were positive by RT-PCR while 6 were indeterminate (1.1%). The false positivily HCV Antibodies by ELISA and RIBA, when compared with RT-PCR were (33.17%) and (5.13%).
Conclusion: The percentage of infectivity of HCV was 100% by ELISA, 97.71% by RIBA and 65.8% by RT-PCR test. It is very important to screen infected patients by using the RT-PCR for HCV-RNA to avoid false positive results.

Keywords: Hepatitis C, HCV, Diagnosis, ELISA

Link/DOI: http://www.nidcc-jid.org.ly/pdf/v4no1/Evaluation_of_the_available_anti-HCV_antibody_detection_tests_with_RT-PCR_assay.pdf