Send to

Choose Destination
Epidemiol Infect. 2015 Oct;143(13):2837-40. doi: 10.1017/S0950268815000199. Epub 2015 Feb 12.

High prevalence of hepatitis C (HCV) in the emergency department (ED) of a London hospital: should we be screening for HCV in ED attendees?

Author information

Department of Infection and Immunology,The Royal London Hospital,Barts Health NHS Trust,London,UK.
Department of Biochemistry,The Royal London Hospital,Barts Health NHS Trust,London,UK.
Department of Medical Affairs,Gilead Sciences Ltd,Uxbridge,Middlesex,UK.
Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Queen Mary University London,London,UK.
Department of Virology,The Royal London Hospital,Barts Health NHS Trust,London,UK.


An unlinked anonymous study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in emergency department (ED) attendees at a London Hospital. Nine hundred and ninety-seven samples collected over a 12-day period were tested for HCV antibody (Ab) and reactive samples were further tested for HCV RNA. The HCV seroprevalence was 2·6% (26/997) with 1·2% (12/997) HCV RNA positive. A peak HCV RNA-positive prevalence of 4·8% (3/63) was found in males aged 35-44 years, this was compared to 0% (0/136) in males aged <35 years (P = 0·0614) and 1·4% (4/278) in males aged ⩾45 years (P = 0·2415). Assuming the cost for HCV Ab is £6 and HCV RNA is £40 per test, screening ED attendees aged 25-54 years would cost £360 per viraemic infection and identify 82% of those who were HCV RNA positive, yielding the most favourable cost/benefit ratio. HCV screening of ED attendees aged 25-54 years in this population could be an effective way of identifying patients and limit onward transmission.


Emergency department; HCV RNA-positive prevalence; hepatitis C; screening; seroprevalence

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center