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Nowadays the diagnosis of HCV infection is based on the detection of anti-HCV antibodies (HCV-Ab) subsequently confirmed by a RIBA test and HCV-RNA test.A new chemiluminescence assay is now available allowing the detection of HCV antigen (HCV-Ag) (HCV-Ag,Abbott, USA®).The aim of the study was to investigate the diagnostic performances of this new test.We performed on 63 selected serum samples the following analyses: HCV-Ab , HCV-Ag, RIBA test and HCV-RNA . For HCV-Ag vs HCV-RNA we found specificity of 95% and sensitivity of 100%. Our study has highlighted the diagnostic accuracy of HCV-Ag test. This test does not require special equipments to be performed, so its strong specificity suggests its possible role in a rapid and low-cost new diagnostic protocol, particularly in a population with low incidence of HCV infection.
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