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306 Virus HCV (WZW type C) – quality, Real-Time PCR

The test consists  of detecting the presence of genetic material of hepatitis virus (RNA) type C (WZW type C, HCV - Hepatitis C Virus). It is estimated that ca. 200 million people worldwide are infected, from which ca. 700 thousand in Poland. About 60%-90% of infections in Poland are of hospital or ambulatory origin. It is currently believed that HCV virus is responsible for ca. 90% of non-transfusion related cases of hepatitis.

What is HCV?

Hepatitis virus type C (HCV) belongs to the family of hepatotropal viruses. Genetic material of HCV creates a one-string linear RNA. It is estimated that ca. 200 million people worldwide are infected, from which ca. 700 thousand in Poland .  About 60%-90% of infections in Poland are of hospital or ambulatory origin. It is currently believed that HCV virus is responsible for ca. 90% of non-transfusion related cases of hepatitis. The course of infection is normally asymptomatic or very rarely accompanied by non-specific symptoms, such as lack of appetite, weakening, nausea, muscle or joint pains or loss of body weight.

Infection with HCV virus may develop as a result of direct or indirect contact with infected blood of a carrier (food transfusion, surgeries, repeatable usage of injection needles, stomatology or endoscopy operations, application of rings to the body or tattooing).

Clinical forms of infection with HCV:

  • acute viral hepatitis type C;
  • chronichepatitis;
  • cirrhosis;
  • cellularhepatic carcinoma.

It is estimated that in case of ca. 80% infected people, the disease becomes chronic. Chronic form of hepatitis C may lead after 15-20 years to cirrhosis, and later (after ca. 20-30 years) to hepatic carcinoma (ca. 1%-5% of all those with the chronic form of the disease).

Diagnostics of HCV infections

Diagnostics of HCV, based on the Real Time PCR method, is the only direct method for detecting this virus. Unlike  the case of immunology methods, this genetic test is characterized by higher sensitivity and is more specific and  detects the active infection. The Real Time PCR method is also the only method that can be applied during treatment of WZW type C.

Infection with HCV virus may develop as a result of direct contact with infected blood of a carrier (food transfusion, surgeries, repeatable usage of injection needles, e.g. in case of drug-addicts, stomatology or endoscopy operations). Chronic form of hepatitis C, after approximately 15-20 years may lead to cirrhosis, and then to hepatic carcinoma (ca. 1%-5 % of all the chronically infected patients).

Test material:            serum

Transfer method:      2-8°C

Testing method:        Real-Time PCR

Delivery date:            up to 10 business days