Screening for hepatitis C virus infection in a high prevalence country by an antigen/antibody combination assay versus a rapid test. In low-income-countries, screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is often based on rapid tests (RT). Their lower sensitivity compared to enzyme immunoassay (EIA) suggests that newer HCV Antigen/Antibody (Ag/Ab) combination assays might have a role in such countries. To test this idea, 1998 blood donors were tested at the University Teaching Hospital blood bank in Yaoundé, Cameroon simultaneously with a RT (HCV rapid test, Human Diagnostics, Berlin, Germany) according to standard practice (S1) and with an Ag/Ab assay (Monolisa HCV Ag/Ab Ultra, Biorad, France) (S2). All discordant, borderline and reactive samples were submitted to confirmatory testing by immunoblot and/or HCV-RNA.
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