Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Antibody

Additional Information:

UFHPL Epic order code: LAB868

Following the development of sensitive and specific testing for hepatitis B, 90% of post-transfusion hepatitis is now hepatitis C. A gene product (c100) of hepatitis C virus (HCV) was isolated and an assay for anti-HCV developed. The assay detects antibody to a presumptive togavirus or flavivirus which may be an etiologic agent of non-A, non-B hepatitis (which may not be a unitary disease entity).

For blood donors, hepatitis C serology correlates with surrogate tests for non-A, non-B hepatitis (ALT and anti-HBc). Since hepatitis C serology identifies a broader group of infected individuals than surrogate testing, it reduces risk of HCV during transfusion. Studies in hemophiliacs indicate that antibody to HCV is a reliable marker of HCV.


  • Allain JP, Dailey SH, Laurain Y, et al. Evidence for persistent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in hemophiliacs. J Clin Invest. 1991 Nov; 88(5):1672-1679. PubMed 1939652
  • Alter MJ, Hadler SC, Judson FN, et al. Risk factors for acute non-A, non-B hepatitis in the United States and association with hepatitis C virus infection. JAMA. 1990 Nov 7; 264(17):2231-2235. PubMed 2170702
  • Choo QL, Kuo G, Weiner AJ, et al. Isolation of a cDNA clone derived from a blood-borne non-A, non-B viral hepatitis genome. Science. 1989 Apr 21; 244(4902):359-362. PubMed 2523562
  • Clemens JM, Taskar S, Chau K, et al. IgM antibody response in acute hepatitis C viral infection. Blood. 1992 Jan 1; 79(1):169-172. PubMed 1309424
  • Dodd LG, McBride JH, Gitnick GL, Howanitz PJ, Rodgerson DO. Prevalence of non-A, non-B hepatitis/hepatitis C virus antibody in human immunoglobulins. Am J Clin Pathol. 1992 Jan; 97(1):108-113. PubMed 1728850
  • Gambino R. NANB hepatitisāˆ’A new antibody test for the hepatitis C virus. Lab Report for Physicians. 1988; 10:89-93.
  • Kuo G, Choo QL, Alter HJ, et al. An assay for circulating antibodies to a major etiologic virus of human non-A, non-B hepatitis. Science. 1989 Apr 21; 244(4902):362-364. PubMed 2496467
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CPT Code(s):


Specimen Requirements:

Type: Serum or plasma

Container/Tube: Red-top tube, gel-barrier tube or lavender-top tube (EDTA)
  • If a tube other than a gel-barrier tube is used, transfer the separated serum or plasma to a plastic transport tube.

Sample Volume: 1 mL

Storage: Refrigerate specimens immediately after collection.

Stability (collection to time of analysis/testing):

  • Ambient: 14 days
  • Refrigerated: 14 days
  • Frozen: 14 days
Rejection Criteria:

  • Non-EDTA plasma specimen
  • PST gel-barrier tube


This test is used to assess exposure to hepatitis C virus infection and test blood safety.


Since as many as 90 percent of commercial intravenous immunoglobulins test positive for hepatitis C antibody, an artifactual positive can result briefly after transfusion.


Enzyme immunoassay (EIA)


5 – 8 business days