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

Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections

September 22, 2017
Group A Streptococcus bacteria cause a variety of illnesses that range from mild nuisances like strep throat to life-threatening conditions including pneumonia, toxic shock syndrome and the flesh-eating disease formally known ...

Ecosystem approach makes urinary tract infection more treatable

September 22, 2017
The biological term 'ecosystem' is not usually associated with urinary tract infections, but this should change according to Wageningen scientists.

Residents: Frontline defenders against antibiotic resistance?

September 22, 2017
Antibiotic resistance continues to grow around the world, with sometimes disastrous results. Some strains of bacteria no longer respond to any currently available antibiotic, making death by infections that were once easily ...

Superbug's spread to Vietnam threatens malaria control

September 21, 2017
A highly drug resistant malaria 'superbug' from western Cambodia is now present in southern Vietnam, leading to alarming failure rates for dihydroartemisinin (DHA)-piperaquine—Vietnam's national first-line malaria treatment, ...

Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system

September 21, 2017
For years, medical investigators have tried and failed to develop vaccines for a type of staph bacteria associated with the deadly superbug MRSA. But a new study by Cedars-Sinai investigators shows how staph cells evade the ...

Individualized diets for irritable bowel syndrome better than placebo

September 21, 2017
Patients with irritable bowel syndrome who follow individualized diets based on food sensitivity testing experience fewer symptoms, say Yale researchers. Their study is among the first to provide scientific evidence for this ...

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.