When Time is of the Essence: Elisa Tests for HCV

The hepatitis C virus is one of the leading causes of liver disease in the US, particularly liver cancer. It is passed person-to-person, usually through transfusions or through the sharing of intravenous-drug needles.

More than half of people exposed to the hepatitis C virus go on to develop chronic hepatitis. This infection is now the leading cause of cirrhosis of the liver and several types of liver cancer. Both health conditions may require liver transplants to save patients’ lives.

Fortunately, transmission rates of HCV have been declining drastically since the 1990s when reliable tests and routine screening of blood donors came into use. In the following two decades, each generation of Elisa hepatitis C test has become increasingly reliable. A highly reliable result that is 99 percent accurate, can be obtained in about 75 minutes.

Health care professionals prefer the latest HCV Elisa kit for a number of reasons. The most-mentioned benefit is that the kits are very user-friendly and contain detailed instructions for their use. Ease of use means less chance of making a mistake at any point between collecting a blood sample and storing the results.

The detailed instructions illustrate the proper and safe way to collect blood specimens, the safest methods for preparing the required reagents, the best storage conditions for test results, obtaining the most reliable results and interpreting those results correctly. Each kit contains all the equipment and reagents required for an HCV test.

The Elisa kits are available in two varieties, one for identifying those who may be carrying the infection and the other for confirming a HCV diagnosis in patients are exhibiting symptoms associated with HCV-related liver disease.

In either case, the use of a highly reliable test that produces an accurate result in little more than an hour can save lives. As with all infectious diseases, stopping HCV in its tracks by preventing its transmission is the top priority. Confirming a diagnosis as early as possible enables a medical team to begin treatment immediately, a step that can help slow the progress of cirrhosis or liver cancer.