• Key words:;
  • anti-HCV second generation hepatitis C


To develop a more dependable method of diagnosing hepatitis C, serum anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) was examined by using a new assay (anti-HCV second generation). The results were compared with those of either the conventional assay (anti-HCV first generation) or HCV-RNA analysis. With the first generation assay, anti-HCV was detected in 69% of post-transfusion acute hepatitis (AH), 44% of sporadic AH, 50% of needlestick exposed AH, 72% of chronic hepatitis (CH), 77% of liver cirrhosis (LC) and 86% of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These results were remarkably increased by using the second generation assay (92% in post-transfusion AH, 72% in sporadic AH, 100% in needlestick exposed AH, 96% in CH, 96% in LC and 97% in HCC). Furthermore, in the early stages of AH (from 1–5 weeks after onset), anti-HCV was not detected in all 18 patients by the first generation assay, but was found in 10 of them by using the second generation assay. The failure to detect anti-HCV with the first generation assay was mainly due to a lack of the core region coding peptide (C22-3) in this assay.

In the AH-resolving group, anti-HCV second generation did not disappear, but the titre tended to be lower than that in the CH-developing group. Thus, the second generation assay for anti-HCV was considered to be a more useful tool for not only the diagnosis of hepatitis C but also for determining prognosis.