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Editorial

Changing strategies for hepatitis C testing

Chong Gee Teo

Corresponding author name: Chong Gee Teo
Corresponding author e-mail: enz0@cdc.gov

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2012; 17:1391-1395
doi: 10.3851/IMP2468

Date accepted: 17 July 2012
Date published online: 07 December 2012

Abstract

Recent approvals of direct-acting, orally delivered pharmaceuticals for the treatment of patients with infection by HCV and of a point-of-care assay for community screening of HCV infection have generated impetus to widen the identification of HCV-infected individuals. Diagnosis of HCV infection is, however, still based on the detection of anti-HCV immunoglobulin G. As treatment is intended for individuals with current infection, testing for evidence of infection would need to centre on the detection of HCV viraemia. Minimizing the complexity and costs associated with HCV nucleic acid testing and speeding the development and validation of HCV antigen assays expedite the identification of HCV-viraemic individuals. Establishing means to diagnose recent HCV infection and to engage in surveillance of drug-resistant HCV are also apposite. Successful implementation of these various measures brightens prospects for the eventual elimination of HCV.

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