The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) will host a Webinar, “Current Issues in Hepatitis Testing,” on December 21.
Chronic infection with Hepatitis B virus (HBV) affects 350 million people worldwide. In the US alone, approximately one million people suffer with chronic HBV infection. Clinicians have a complicated array of assay choices to detect HBV and to monitor treatment. Currently, a workup for HBV can include tests to determine the presence of an active infection, to determine immunity, to gauge whether a patient has a chronic infection or is recovering from an acute infection, to determine the likelihood that a patient will spread HBV to others, and to measure how much HBV DNA is in a patient’s blood. The newest HBV blood test under evaluation is the quantitative hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) assay, which may offer another option for early detection of HBV infection and monitoring patients with a history of infection.
Likewise, emerging therapies for hepatitis C virus (HCV) will dictate new testing algorithms for monitoring treatment in infected patients. Our program faculty will look at new protease inhibitors that are expected to transform the treatment of hepatitis C, resulting in more viral load testing and molecular testing in the HCV arena.