$20 Blood Test to Detect Hepatitis B

July 4, 2018  Source: MedicalXpress 187

Hepatitis is considered as the seventh leading cause of death throughout the world, where half of the deaths occur due to hepatitis B viral infection. Early cost-effective diagnosis could help in treating the affected patients without any delay.

A research team from Imperial College London and Medical Research Council Unit, the Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Pasteur Institute in Paris along with other African and European institutions, have developed a simple, accurate and inexpensive diagnostic blood test called TREAT-B, to identify patients affected with hepatitis B. It is more accessible compared to existing methods such as liver biopsies or HBV DNA analyses, which require proper resources. The results, published in the Journal of Hepatology, indicated that the diagnostic test shows 85% sensitivity and 77% specificity.

This test needs further research to be developed as a finger-prick test for swifter results.

Dr. Maud Lemoine, the co-author of the study said, "These results show that this simple and inexpensive test could be an accurate way to diagnose patients in need of hepatitis B treatment in countries with limited resources.” Another co-author Yusuke Shimakawa from the Pasteur Institute said, "Once these results are validated by further studies, they could be potentially integrated into the WHO guidelines and local guidelines—and implemented in daily practice; There is great potential to diagnose more people and improve access to treatment.”

By Ddu
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