Comparison of a Newly Developed Automated and Quantitative Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Core Antigen Test with the HCV RNA Assay for Clinical Usefulness in Confirming Anti-HCV Results

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Kesli R., Polat H., Terzi Y., Kurtoglu M. G., Uyar Y.

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY, vol.49, no.12, pp.4089-4093, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1128/jcm.05292-11
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.4089-4093
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a global health care problem. Diagnosis of HCV infection is mainly based on the detection of anti-HCV antibodies as a screening test with serum samples. Recombinant immunoblot assays are used as supplemental tests and for the final detection and quantification of HCV RNA in confirmatory tests. In this study, we aimed to compare the HCV core antigen test with the HCV RNA assay for confirming anti-HCV results to determine whether the HCV core antigen test may be used as an alternative confirmatory test to the HCV RNA test and to assess the diagnostic values of the total HCV core antigen test by determining the diagnostic specificity and sensitivity rates compared with the HCV RNA test. Sera from a total of 212 treatment-naive patients were analyzed for anti-HCV and HCV core antigen both with the Abbott Architect test and with the molecular HCV RNA assay consisting of a reverse transcription-PCR method as a confirmatory test. The diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the HCV core antigen assay compared to the HCV RNA test were 96.3%, 100%, 100%, and 89.7%, respectively. The levels of HCV core antigen showed a good correlation with those from the HCV RNA quantification (r = 0.907). In conclusion, the Architect HCV antigen assay is highly specific, sensitive, reliable, easy to perform, reproducible, cost-effective, and applicable as a screening, supplemental, and preconfirmatory test for anti-HCV assays used in laboratory procedures for the diagnosis of hepatitis C virus infection.