Egyptians design 'faster, cheaper' hepatitis C test

March 14, 2012

The American University in Cairo said Wednesday that a team of its researchers has designed a faster and cheaper test for all types of hepatitis C, which it says affects about 10 million Egyptians.

The development "reduces the two-step testing process carried out over a number of days to a one-step process that takes less than an hour... at a fraction of the cost of traditional diagnostic protocols," the university said.

The liquid chemistry test can diagnose using , it said.

"Our test is sensitive and inexpensive, and it does not need sophisticated equipment," said Hassan Azzazy, professor of chemistry and head of the research team.

"Detecting HCV during the first six months raises the recovery rate to 90 percent. Little is done on the national level to combat the alarming prevalence of hepatitis C in Egypt," said Azzazy.

The AUC said Egypt has about 10 million people who suffer from the (HCV), with the blood-borne pathogen infecting almost 500,000 in the country each year.

Worldwide, around 170 million people are estimated to be living with the chronic disease caused by the virus.

Unlike hepatitis A or B, most people infected with HCV cannot shake off the virus on their own because, when under attack by the immune system, it morphs into stronger variants.

The estimates that three to four million people are newly infected with HCV each year.

The WHO says Egypt has one of the highest rates of hepatitis C prevalence in the world, putting the rate of infection in the country at 22 percent.

Contamination can occur through blood transfusions, blood products and , and the virus can also be passed on to a child if the mother is infected.

Explore further: New vaccine for hepatitis C virus

Related Stories

New vaccine for hepatitis C virus

July 28, 2011
Murdoch University researchers have begun a study to develop a new and innovative vaccine for the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Researchers identify potential new therapy approach for hepatitis C

January 16, 2012
Researchers at the University of British Columbia have found a new way to block infection from the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the liver that could lead to new therapies for those affected by this and other infectious diseases.

University launches iphone app for hepatitis treatment

November 22, 2011
The University of Liverpool has launched an iphone app, HEP i-chart, that provides Hepatitis C (HCV) patients with quick and easy access to the latest information about drug interactions.

Pinpointing a tell-tale mark of liver cancer

July 8, 2011
Persistent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can lead to chronic hepatitis C and then progress to fatal liver diseases including liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths. Worldwide, ...

Recommended for you

A new theory on reducing cardiovascular disease risk in binge drinkers

January 23, 2018
A new study shows that binge drinkers have increased levels of a biomarker molecule—microRNA-21—that may contribute to poor vascular function.

Flu infection study increases understanding of natural immunity

January 23, 2018
People with higher levels of antibodies against the stem portion of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) protein have less viral shedding when they get the flu, but do not have fewer or less severe signs of illness, according ...

New long-acting approach for malaria therapy developed

January 22, 2018
A new study, published in Nature Communications, conducted by the University of Liverpool and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine highlights a new 'long acting' medicine for the prevention of malaria.

Virus shown to be likely cause of mystery polio-like illness

January 22, 2018
A major review by UNSW researchers has identified strong evidence that a virus called Enterovirus D68 is the cause of a mystery polio-like illness that has paralysed children in the US, Canada and Europe.

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.