, Volume 200, Issue 2, pp 77-83
Date: 24 Sep 2010

Multicenter evaluation of a fully automated third-generation anti-HCV antibody screening test with excellent sensitivity and specificity

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Early detection of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an important step in preventing progression to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Serologic assays for anti-hepatitis C (anti-HCV) antibody are valuable first-line tests in the screening and diagnosis of HCV infection. The aim of this multicenter study was to compare the Elecsys® Anti-HCV assay with alternative CE-marked Anti-HCV antibody assays against a range of samples that included 1,138 blood donors, 3,553 unselected routine daily specimens, and 46 pre-selected seroconversion panels. Specificity of the Elecsys Anti-HCV assay was 99.5% with blood donor samples and 99.4% with routine clinical specimens. These were similar to those obtained with the Prism® Anti-HCV, Architect® Anti-HCV assay, ADVIA® Centaur Anti-HCV assay and Vitros® Eci aHCV assays. Seroconversion sensitivity for the Elecsys Anti-HCV assay was similar to that of the Architect Anti-HCV, AxSYM HCV version 3.0, ADVIA Centaur Anti-HCV, and Vitros Eci aHCV assays. In fact, seroconversion testing on 46 commercially available panels showed that the difference in first detecting a positive blood sample was less than one day between assays (not statistically significant). The Elecsys Anti-HCV assay as well as the Architect, Prism, and Vitros Anti-HCV immunoassays revealed a seroconversion sensitivity of 100%, whereas the ADVIA Centaur HCV immunoassay showed a sensitivity of only 97.5% (39/40). Overall, the performance of the Elecsys Anti-HCV assay was similar to the performances of the comparator CE-marked Anti-HCV antibody assays.