Association of Serum Neopterin Level with HCV Infection among Egyptian Blood Donors

Author's: Mohamed Abdel-Hamid, Yasmin Saad Ibrahim, Doha El-Sayed Ellakwa, Shahenda Nasr Ahmed
Authors' Affiliations
Article Type: Research Article     Published: May. 16, 2016 Pages: 39-42
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The determination of neopterin is a new method for monitoring diseases which are linked with the activation of the immunity. This study was done to verify serum neopterin concentrations as a marker of virological infection with hepatitis C virus (genotype 4) in Egyptian blood donors. A total of 88 blood samples were collected from VACSERA blood bank by venipuncture and serum was obtained by centrifugation. Serum antibodies against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1&2), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV Ab and PCR), and Hepatitis B Virus surface antigen (HBsAg) were determined in all samples by routine ELISA method. Serum neopterin was measured by a commercially neopterin enzyme Immunoassay kit. The diagnostic accuracy of marker was assessed using receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, describing the area under the curve (AUC) and its 95% confidence interval (CI). The samples were classified into two groups: Group I: 44 blood sample with HCV negative. Group II: 44 normal blood sample positive to HCV. Results showed that 9.09% HCV positive donors while 15.90% control group donors had increased neopterin level. Mean serum neopterin levels were elevated in healthy group (6.419 nmol/l) comparable to the HCV positive group (5.78 nmol/l) (P ˃ 0.05). When HCV patients were compared to healthy group, AUC for neopterin and HCV Ab were 0.526. Based on the ROC analysis, there were no adequate cut-off values for neopterin that would be best for differentiation of HCV from the non HCV patients. It is concluded that Neopterin assay isn’t a good diagnostic marker for HCV in blood donors.


Neopterin; hepatitis C; blood donors; marker.

To cite this article:

Abdel-Hamid, M., Ibrahim, Y.S., Ellakwa, D.E., Ahmed, S.N., 2016. Association of Serum Neopterin Level with HCV Infection among Egyptian Blood Donors. PSM Biol. Res., 01(1): 39-42.


Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus where it attributed as non-A/non-B hepatitis. The virus attacks cells in the liver, multiplies (replicates) (Andrade et al., 2009). There are estimates of 3% of the world’s population being chronically infected with HCV, that is the main source of liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (Mohamed and Attalah., 2014). The risk factors linked with HCC comprise age, sex, diet, alcohol, and hepatitis B virus (HBV) and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection (Ali et al., 2015).

Only in case of known diseases, there are specific tests available for detection of microorganisms. There was a remarkable progress in regard to safety of blood transfusion either by serologic or molecular biology techniques aiding blood donor screening, screening of the blood donors for elevated levels of liver enzymes in the blood for hepatitis, followed by Hepatitis B and then Hepatitis C   screening was done   (Shameem Banu et al., 2011).

Neopterin screening of blood transfusions became mandatory in Austria. Increased neopterin concentrations are helpful for the detection of subclinical infections or silent systemic disorders (Eisenhut., 2013).

Neopterin serum levels above 10 nmol/L are considered as elevated. Therefore, the assessment of neopterin in blood samples is a convenient tool in order to diminish the risk of infections via blood transfusion. Thereby it has to be noted that neopterin levels are already raised in an early stage of an infection, even before specific antibodies are produced to be  able to further close the so-called “window period” which still prevail when antibody screening is done (Inci Fisenk et al., 2005; Shameem Banu et al., 2011).

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate association of serum Neopterin level with HCV infection among Egyptian blood donors.


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