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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 217-221

Detection of hepatitis C virus antibody in the saliva of children and adolescents with b-thalassemia

1 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Jonair H Labib
Department of Pediatrics, Thalassemia Center, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-1067.153962

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Introduction Children with b-thalassemia (BTM) are at risk of acquiring hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections because of their need for multiple blood transfusions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the new rapid antibody test (OraQuick) for detection of HCV antibody in the saliva of BTM major and intermedia patients with known and unknown anti-HCV antibody status. Patients and methods The present study included 150 children and adolescents suffering from BTM enrolled from the Hematology and Oncology Clinic of the Children's Hospital of Ain Shams University. A full medical history, clinical examination, salivary swab detection of anti-HCV in saliva, blood sampling for complete blood count, and liver enzyme assessment were performed. Anti-HCV testing by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and HCV RNA testing by PCR were carried out in those studied patients who had not undergone such tests earlier. Results There was significant correlation between HCV status and the total number of blood transfusions. A significant fall in the incidence of HCV infection after 2004 was proven. The sensitivity and specificity of both, the OraQuick test and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test, were the same (97.8 and 100%, respectively). Conclusion The OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test using saliva proved to have a high sensitivity and specificity. Therefore, it could be considered a noninvasive, easy, rapid, and reliable test for screening of patients suspected to have HCV infection.

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