Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a worldwide public health problem with a global prevalence of 2-3 %. It is believed that about 170 million people are currently infected (about 3 % of the world’s population), and a further 3-4 million are infected each year. HCV is a frequent cause of chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis. HCV is the main reason for liver transplantation in the developed world and, it is primarily transmitted via blood. After 1-3 weeks of acute HCV infection, HCV RNA becomes detectable in blood and rapidly increases. Most infection is asymptomatic (70-80 %) but symptoms including flu-like symptoms, fatigue, vomiting, nausea, right upper quadrant pain, muscle pain, or pruritus may develop within 2-12 weeks. About 50-80 % of HCV infected patients progress to chronic infection. Once it becomes chronic hepatitis, it can cause persistent liver injury without spontaneous recovery leading to cirrhosis and HCC. Most (60-80 %) patients with chronic hepatitis show no symptoms, but some can experience abdominal discomfort, fatigue, nausea, muscle pain, arthritis, or weight loss. Serologic assays testing are needed to confirm HCV infection. Physical examination, treatment and history taking should be done to understand the routes of transmission and block further reinfection. Detection of anti-HCV in serum or plasma is used for screening of a high risk group and for diagnosis of acute or chronic hepatitis C.
Rapid and accurate diagnosis of hepatitis C virus infection from finger-tip blood