LabCorp, Burlington, NC, announced its support for guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that recommends hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing in all people born between 1945 and 1965. The CDC first proposed this in May and finalized it this week after a period for open comments.

With baby boomers representing approximately 75% of people infected with HCV, LabCorp supports this guidance as a step in identifying persons who could benefit from physician monitoring and treatment. About 75%-85% of patients with HCV progress to chronic HCV, with greater risk for further complications including cirrhosis and liver cancer. With the availability of new combination HCV therapies, earlier diagnosis and targeted treatment are expected to reduce HCV progression and the development of HCV-related diseases.

The final guidance recommends an initial screen using an FDA-approved antibody test. For any antibody results that are positive, the CDC recommends using an FDA-approved NAT – also called an HCV RNA test – to identify active infection. LabCorp offers test 144028—Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Antibody with Reflex to Quantitative Real-Time PCR—using FDA-approved antibody and NAT tests to aid in the screening and follow up of those who are indicated for HCV evaluation, including baby boomers under this guidance. Any specimens found to be positive using the antibody test will automatically be tested using a quantitative HCV RNA test that will quantify the patient’s HCV viral load.