Fighting the World's 8th Biggest Killer - HepatitisViral hepatitis is a global public health problem and the world’s 8th biggest killer. An inflammation of the liver caused by viruses referred to as A, B, C, D and E, the condition is characterized by fatigue, loss of appetite, fever and jaundice. Types B and C can lead to chronic disease which is harder to treat and can even prove fatal.

Deadly as it can prove to be, viral hepatitis is sadly neglected. That’s why the slogan for World Hepatitis Day which falls on Monday, 28th July 2014 is ‘Think Again’. This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) will urge policymakers, health workers and the public to pay more attention to curbing this silent killer. The focus will be on the following actions

  • Strengthening prevention, screening and control of the condition and its related diseases
  • Increasing the B vaccine coverage and integration of the vaccine into national immunization programs and
  • Co-coordinating a global response to the infection

Biochemical assessment of liver function is used to diagnose the condition. Initial laboratory evaluation should include total and direct bilirubin, ALT, AST, alkaline phosphatase, prothrombin time, total protein, albumin, globulin, complete blood count, and coagulation studies. Hepatitis C diagnosis depends on demonstration of anti-HCV detected by an EIA (Enzyme Immunoassay) kit. Molecular assays also play a major role in HCV diagnosis where serologic tests can document past or present infection, but cannot differentiate one from the other.

DRG International, Inc., a leading manufacturer for various laboratory immunodiagnostic products, provides several types of kits for the detection of this viral infection in human serum and plasma:

  • DRG Hepatitis C Virus IgG Enzyme Immunoassay Kit for the qualitative and semiquantitative determination of IgG-class antibodies to Hepatitis C Virus in serum
  • HDV Ab ELISA*, 96 Wells is a competitive Enzyme ImmunoAssay (ELISA) for the determination of antibodies to Hepatitis Delta Virus or HDV in human plasma and sera with a “two-steps” methodology
  • HBc IgM ELISA Screening, 96 Wells is for determination of IgM class antibodies to Hepatitis B Virus core Antigen in plasma and sera with the “capture” system.

According to WHO, 150 million people are chronically infected with the type C virus, while 240 million people are chronically infected with the type B virus. It’s time to give this deadly disease the attention it deserves.