New Hepatitis C Testing

One of the issues when trying to bring the Hepatitis C virus under global control is how to test for it. In the underdeveloped countries of the world having the ability to take blood tests from thousands of people is not always that easy to come by. As well, these tests can only be taken by highly trained technicians who know not only how to take the blood but store it for transport to a testing facility as well.

Advanced medical equipment must be used in this process. Blood testing also has the disadvantages of being expensive and hard to do in the more remote villages. When you are talking about something as serious, and unfortunately as common as the Hepatitis C virus in developing countries, something must be done.

Serum Search

The area in the blood necessary to determine if a person has Hepatitis C is the liquid part of the blood, called the serum. This is where the antibodies can be found that show what the viral load in the blood is. Scientists and physicians alike want to do this global testing to try to control the hepatitis outbreak, but this method, blood tests, is just too difficult in the remoter areas of the world.

There may now be an answer to this problem with a new method discovered by scientists in Israel. They have proven that instead of requiring blood serum to detect the virus, salvia will give the same results. The important factors in deciding if this new test method will be worth using will be the results that they have been able to obtain. In their most recent studies these results were very impressive.

Saliva Method

The first study was of patients who had the symptoms of Hepatitis C. These people were tested with the saliva method. Then they were tested by the other method to confirm results. The saliva testing method proved to be one hundred percent accurate.

In patients that had the virus but had not become symptomatic yet the saliva test came back with an accuracy rate of ninety four percent. The blood serum test was able to detect only sixty three percent of the cases of the Hepatitis C virus.

This new test is highly accurate and very inexpensive. This could become the newest method to test not only in developed countries where the accuracy and therefore the earlier diagnosis will be a step forward in treating hepatitis, but in developing countries where testing is almost impossible to do.

Clinical Trials

The Israeli scientists, as well as the ever-watchful medical community, are very happy with the way the clinical trials are going. But they are aware that this testing process still needs more clinical trials before it will become the recognized as standard testing method. Although it is not yet confirmed they are thinking that perhaps the next studies should be on people in developing countries. After the test method was aimed at improving testing in difficult places, so what better place to conduct the next study.