Current blood-based HCV testing requires two steps and can be expensive, inconvenient and is not widely available or affordable globally. Although the test is specific and sensitive, it cannot distinguish active infection from a previous infection.
A blood sample is required, and two steps are required. First, virus-specific antibodies must be detected in the blood. Then, the sensitive HCV RNA PCR test must be administered to confirm whether or not the infection is active. In the U.S., its cost is above $200.
Researchers have now developed a cost-effective one-step test that screens, detects and confirms hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections.
The ability to detect infection using urine rather than blood avoids needle stick and blood sample collection, greatly reduces the cost and necessary clinical infrastructure for screening and diagnosis, helping to promote widespread adoption of the test on a global scale," author said.
The findings will be presented at the Annual Meeting of American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) in San Francisco.