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J Clin Microbiol. 1998 Feb;36(2):387-90.

Automated RIBA hepatitis C virus (HCV) strip immunoblot assay for reproducible HCV diagnosis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, 90024-1749, USA. Pmartin@surgery.medsch.ucla.edu


A comparison between the CHIRON RIBA hepatitis C virus (HCV) processor and manual systems was performed by using 88 specimens repeatedly reactive by the second-generation HCV enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (HCV 2.0 ELISA) and 111 random specimens from volunteer donors. For the second-generation RIBA HCV strip immunoblot assay (SIA) (RIBA HCV 2.0 SIA), test results correlated strongly between the manual and the automated runs (kappa value, 0.937). For the RIBA HCV 3.0 SIA, the correlation of the test results was also high (kappa value, 0.899). Among the specimens with positive results by RIBA HCV 2.0 and 3.0 SIAs, there was a very strong concordance of the test results between the manual and the automated runs with regard to the reactive bands. Nine samples had discordant results between the manual and the automated runs; this was probably attributable to increased variability in antigen scores close to the cutoff values for both tests. Run-to-run and within-run testing by the CHIRON RIBA HCV Processor System showed a very low rate of conflicting values. In conclusion, the CHIRON RIBA HCV Processor System is capable of performing RIBA HCV 2.0 and 3.0 SIAs accurately with minimal operator involvement. In addition, the CHIRON RIBA HCV Processor System shows excellent reproducibility, with the potential for operator-to-operator and site-to-site variability being greatly reduced. Our data indicate that this novel methodology may be very useful for supplemental anti-HCV testing of specimens repeatedly reactive by ELISA in routine clinical assessments and epidemiologic evaluations.

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