Laboratory Tools for Diagnosis and Monitoring of Hepatitis C Virus Infection
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represents a major public health problem. Chronic HCV infection may lead to liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV infection can be cured by proper antiviral drug regimens However, many HCV-infected individuals do not know of their infective status. Understanding the immunological tests of HCV could lead to effective screening, diagnosis and treatment of infected individuals. Antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) can be determined by using high sensitivity and specificity tests currently available as third generation immunological assays. The use of point-of-care test (POCT) also increases the chance of detecting HCV infection. However, active HCV infection must be confirmed by measurement of HCV RNA and HCV genotyping prior to treatment. This article reviews laboratory tools for the diagnosis of HCV infection and also structure and epidemiology of HCV.
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