View Full Version : Saliva-based hepatitis C test developed

12-26-2005, 02:02 AM
Israeli scientists have developed a saliva-based test to detect the hepatitis C virus, and say it could be appropriate for mass screening programmes in developing countries.

Hepatitis C is common in the developing world, but the conventional method of detecting the virus in a blood sample is often inaccessible to poorer nations.

Current tests use a sample of the patient's serum, the liquid part of blood in which blood cells are suspended, and detect antibodies that the body produces in reaction to the virus.

But such tests are costly, complicated and rely on an array of medical equipment and skilled personnel.

Now researchers led by Arieh Yaari of Soroka University Medical Center, Israel, have shown that saliva can be used instead of serum to detect the virus.

In patients who had the virus but had yet to develop symptoms, the saliva test was accurate in 94 per cent of cases, while the conventional serum test detected only 63 per cent of infections.

more ... http://www.scidev.net/content/news/eng/saliva-based-hepatitis-c-test-developed.cfm