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Correlation Between the Serological Markers Used in the Screening for Antibodies to Hepatitis C Virus (HCV).

1Abdel-Nasser MA, 2Mostafa MM, 3El-Deeb AM, 4Khafagy EE and 5Mahros KE.

Departments of 1Microbiology and Immunology, 2Medical Biochemistry, 3Community Medicine and 5General Medicine, Al-Azhar University, and Department of 4General Medicine, Suez Canal University, Egypt.

This study was carried out on 1177 patients attending the Liver Disease, Renal Dialysis and Intensive Care Units of Al-Azhar and Suez Canal University hospitals. 850 blood donors were also included as a control group. Serum samples were collected from patients and blood donors. The morbidity rate of anti-HCV antibodies using enzyme linked-immunosorbent assay, second generation (ELISA 2nd gen.) among patients and blood donors has been estimated. Patients with renal dialysis had a higher rate of HCV (58/155, 37.41 %), followed by chronic hepatitis (170/582, 29.21%). Intensive Care patients showed a lower rate (11/440, 2.50 %) followed by blood donors (15/850, 1.76 %). All HCV patients had high levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT). HCV positive sera were further assayed with recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA-2). All positive sera from the blood donors were still positive with RIBA-2. Almost all ELISA-positive sera from the intensive care group were also positive in this assay (10/11, 90.9 %). Most of the sera from chronic hepatitis and renal dialysis cases were also positive with RIBA-2 (49/58, 84.5 % and 147/170, 86.5 %, respectively). Indeterminate results have been detected in 8 (4.7 %) hepatitis and 6 (10.3%) renal dialysis patients. The sensitivity of ELISA was 87% for all groups and 100% for blood donors. These data indicate that normal population represented by blood donors have a low risk of HCV infection, whereas chronic hepatitis and renal dialysis patients have a high risk for transmission of infection by this virus. A positive correlation has been detected between confirmatory test like RIBA-2 and screening test like ELISA-2 and between them and ALT. ELISA-2 is a highly sensitive and convenient test which is easy to perform and when combined with RIBA-2 and ALT may be useful for diagnosis and monitoring of HCV infection and disease.