Evaluation of Three Rapid Test Kits for the Detection of Hepatitis C Virus Antibodies in Nigeria: An Observational Study
Objectives: Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection misdiagnosis has become a common finding in many hospitals and blood transfusion centres in Nigeria. This observational, cross-sectional study determined the performance characteristics of three rapid test kits for the detection of HCV antibodies. Methods: Three anti-HCV rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) kits, Aria®, LabAcon® and GLOBAL® were evaluated using a panel of known anti-HCV positive and negative samples obtained from consenting blood donors
... ing blood donors (n= 365) attending University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada Abuja. The positive (n=53) and negative (n=36) samples were obtained by using ELISA and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive values (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV) of the 3 RDTs were assessed. Results: The sensitivity and specificity of Aria, LabAcon and GLOBAL were 83%, 81%, 75% and 64.9%, 86.1% and 86.1%% respectively. The PPV and NPV of Aria, LabAcon and Global were 77.2%, 88.6%, 88.9% and 71.9%, 68.9% and 70.5% respectively. The study observed no statistically significant difference in the sensitivity (p=0.343) but significant difference in the specificity (p<0.0001) comparing the 3 RDTs in the detection of hepatitis C virus antibodies. Conclusion: The sensitivities and specificities of the 3 rapid test kits evaluated were low indicating the superiority of ELISA over the 3 rapid test kits. The use of these 3 rapid test kits in testing blood donors and patients in hospitals could lead to false positive or negative results. This necessitates for evaluation of other rapid test kits for the detection of HCV antibodies in Nigeria.