SEXUAL HEALTH TESTS
Hepatitis C Antibody (Anti-HCV)
Hepatitis C Antibody (Anti-HCV)
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a common cause of inflammation and damage to the liver. Many individuals with an acute infection remain asymptomatic, but can still pass the virus to others. Chronic infection develops in more than 50% of infected individuals and often eventually leads to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Early diagnosis enables prompt treatment to cure hepatitis C in most infected individuals.
How to order a test
What is Included?
Detection of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies by chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay.
1 – 3 business days
The turnaround time is not guaranteed. The average turnaround time is 1 – 3 business days from the date that the sample arrives at the laboratory. Shipping time for the sample is not included. Additional time is required if the case requires confirmatory or reflex testing, or if the sample is insufficient, or if a recollection is required.
Additional Information and Resources
Hepatitis C antibodies (anti-HCV) may be detected 1-2 weeks after exposure, but are generally not detected until 8-11 weeks post-exposure, and can be longer in individuals that lack an adequate immune response. A false negative result may occur for specimens collected before antibodies have reached detectable levels.
Reactive results from this anti-HCV test should be followed up with additional laboratory testing.
Preparation Before Specimen Collection
For individuals receiving anticoagulants, collect specimen prior to heparin therapy.
Dried blood spot collection onto 5 circles on the collection card
50 μL in a microtainer
Blood collection card
Microtainer (regular blood tube)
This test requires a blood sample from a finger prick. All supplies for sample collection are provided in the kit.
- First wash and dry hands. Warm hands aid in blood collection.
- Clean the finger prick site with the alcohol swab and allow to air dry.
- Use the provided lancet to puncture the skin in one quick, continuous and deliberate stroke.
- Wipe away the first drop of blood.
- Massage hand and finger to increase blood flow to the puncture site. Angle arm and hand downwards to facilitate blood collection on the fingertip.
- Drip blood onto the blood collection card or into the microtainer tube.
- Dispose of all sharps safely and return sample to the laboratory in the provided prepaid return shipping envelope.
NOTES: Avoid squeezing or ‘milking’ the finger excessively. If more blood is required and blood flow stops, perform a second skin puncture on another finger. Do not touch the fingertip.
Maintain specimen at temperatures between 2°C and 30°C during storage and transport.
- Dried blood spots can be refrigerated or kept at room temperature for up to 30 days.
- Blood samples can be refrigerated or kept at room temperature for up to 7 days.
Causes for Rejection
- Incorrect or incomplete patient identification
- Incorrect specimen collection
- Inappropriate storage and transport conditions
- Incorrect specimen volume
To detect hepatitis C antibodies (anti-HCV) in a blood sample for screening for hepatitis C infections. Supplementary tests are required for confirmation of reactive results in this assay.
- This report is not intended for use in medico-legal applications.
- These results are intended for screening and monitoring for hepatitis C, and should be interpreted in conjunction with other laboratory and clinical information.
- Correct specimen collection and handling is required for optimal assay performance.
- A negative result does not exclude the possibility of infection. False-negative test results may occur due to improper specimen collection, or specimen collection during the window period post-exposure when anti-HCV levels are below detectable limits.
Chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (Alinity i Anti-HCV)