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Intervirology. 1994;37(2):58-67.

Epidemiological studies on hepatitis C virus infection: detection, prevalence, exposure and prevention.

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Viral Hepatitis Research Foundation of Japan, Tokyo.


Highly sensitive and specific tests for HCV infection are now available for epidemiological studies. These include: (1) the second-generation ELISA or agglutination technique with supplemental testing; (2) serotyping of antibody; (3) detection of HCV-RNA by RT-nested double PCR with the 5' noncoding region for the highest sensitivity; (4) quantitation of HCV-RNA; (5) genotyping using specific primers in the core region, and (6) sequence analysis of E2/NS1 hypervariable region 1 to identify homology among HCV isolates. Transmission of HCV is commonly done by percutaneous routes, although the route in a significant proportion of sporadic infections is unknown. Sexual transmission and perinatal transmission appear to be relatively infrequent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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