Hepatitis C Point-Of-Care Test Delivers Results in One-Hour

Xpert HCV Viral Load Finger Stick produces 100% specificity from a point of care assay
baby boomer on rocks near ocean
(Precision Vaccinations)

A new Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) test can diagnose an infection in a single clinical visit, according to new research.

This study demonstrated 100% sensitivity and specificity of the Xpert® HCV VL FS test, from Cepheid.   

Moreover, this point-of-care assay can detect active hepatitis C infection from a finger-stick sample, in just 1 hour.

This new test provides a way for clinicians to reduce the number of patient visits needed to diagnose HCV. This is important because previous studies show patients often discontinue treatment after the first step in the test process.

The new Xpert HCV VL FS assay is a redesigned version capable of testing a 100 µL sample of capillary blood.

“Xpert HCV Viral Load test delivers results in hours rather than days — with the simplicity and ease of use of a point-of-care test. It is a very sensitive test for confirmation of infection and monitoring of HCV, and will assist in better patient management,” said Jean-Michel Pawlotsky M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Medicine at the University of Paris-Est.

An estimated 185 million people, 3 percent of the world’s population, have been infected with HCV, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Additionally, 350,000 to 500,000 people die each year from HCV-related liver disease.

Over just 5 years, the number of new hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections has nearly doubled, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The increase is driven by people who inject drugs (PWID), the CDC says.

But a clear majority of HCV cases are still diagnosed in baby boomers, who are 6 times more likely to be infected with HCV than people in other age groups.

Baby-Boomers make up about 75% of all HCV cases in the U.S.

Previous research suggests that expanding one-time Hepatitis C virus testing to everyone over 18 years of age would be cost-effective, and improve clinical outcomes.

The current CDC and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend a one-time HCV test for persons born between 1945-1965, with additional testing for ‘high-risk’ persons.

The study was published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. These researchers disclosed various potential conflicts of interest.