Hepatitis C Virus Infection: Evaluation of ICT and ELISA for the Screening of anti-HCV

Author's: Muhammad Naeem Iqbal, Asfa Ashraf, Iqra Iqbal
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Article Type: Editorial     Published: Aug. 31, 2019 Pages: Online first
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The prevalence of HCV is particularly high in developing countries and is a major cause of increased morbidity and mortality. According to WHO  reports,  about  180 million people are infected by the hepatitis C virus in the world and 3-4 million people are infected every year (Irfan et al., 2016). Chronic infection of HCV leads to extra-hepatic disorders, hepatocellular carcinoma, renal disorders, hematologic diseases and cirrhosis (Ali et al., 2015). The elevation of liver enzymes is responsible for liver disorders (Toor et al., 2016). The use of unsterilized surgical tools, unscreened blood transfusion procedure, unqualified medical trainees medication, unsafe barbershops and reuse of razors and shaving tools shows full efficiency in the transmission of these viruses.

Different methods are used for the diagnosis of hepatitis including ICT, ELISA, EIA, and PCR. Laboratory diagnosis of HCV infection is usually based on the detection of circulating antibodies (Narayan et al., 2001). The Immunochromatographic test (ICT) is rapid and simple and could be used in settings with limited facilities (Batool et al., 2009). Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) is widely used for anti-HCV antibody screening (Kalim et al., 2017).

In this issue, Al-Hatheq et al. report the seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among blood donors and clinical visitors in Amran Governorate, Yemen, using immune-chromatographic technique (ICT) and Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). ICT was compared with ELISA for the effective detection of anti-HCV antibodies in serum samples. The results showed the prevalence of HCV infection was 2% among blood donors and 2.7% among clinical visitors detected by ICT. The detection by ELISA showed 2.4% prevalence among blood donors and 3.3% among clinical visitors. The validity of ICT was high as it showed high specificity (100%) and sensitivity (81.8%).

An ideal rapid test is a bonus in time-saving situations, hence HCV screening can be preferably done by a rapid test followed by a supplemental ELISA and polymerase chain reaction. The prevalence of hepatitis C virus can be minimized by the screening of all donors for anti-HCV and discouraging the use of unsterilized syringes and medical instruments by dentists and surgeons.


Iqbal, M.N, Ashraf, A., Iqbal, I., 2019. Hepatitis C Virus Infection: Evaluation of ICT and ELISA for the Screening of anti-HCV. Int. J. Mol. Microbiol., 2(2): IJMM-2019-031.