Serological response and detection of viraemia in acute hepatitis C virus infection

Spyros Dourakis, Jonathan Brown, Umesh Kumar, Peter Karayiannis, Peter Kernoff, Joe Chiba, Hiroyoshi Ohba, Tatsuo Miyamura, Izumu Saito, Jon Monjardino, Howard Thomas

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The serological response during acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection was examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in sequential serum samples from 13 haemophiliacs following their first exposure to factor VIII concentrates contaminated with HCV. The commercially available C100-3 peptide and a new 22 kDa recombinant protein (p22) encoded by the nucleocapsid region of the viral genome were used for antibody detection, whilst a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method was used for the detection of viraemia. In addition, eight sporadic cases of acute HCV infection were studied. The results in haemophiliacs demonstrated that seroconversion to the C100-3 antigen occurred in only one-third of the patients within 12 weeks of disease onset, but all of the patients had a diagnostic serological response to p22 during this phase of the disease. The new test was positive in all the sporadic cases at a time when the commercially available test was negative. Although PCR offers a sensitive method for the detection of recent HCV infection, the complex methodology makes it unsuitable for diagnostic laboratories. The new ELISA test with p22 may therefore have a useful diagnostic role in acute disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-376
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1992


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