Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infections in dialysis patients and their contacts using a second generation enzymed-linked immunosorbent assay

Med Microbiol Immunol. 1992;181(3):173-80. doi: 10.1007/BF00202057.


The prevalence of antibodies to the hepatitis C virus (HCV) was determined in 498 hemodialysis patients from three german dialysis units, 121 staff members and 42 family members using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) of the second generation which detects antibodies to a structural (C22) and to non-structural (C33c, C100, 5-1-1) recombinant antigens to HCV. Using the second generation ELISA 115 patients (23.1%) were anti-HCV positive versus 77 (15.5%) when sera were tested by an ELISA of the first generation containing only a non-structural antigen (C100). In 34 of these 40 discordant sera antibodies against at least one viral protein was found by a recombinant immunoblot assay. Of 5 sera containing antibodies to only one viral protein (C22) 3 were HCV RNA positive by polymerase chain reaction. Epidemiological evaluation of the patients revealed that the prevalence of anti-HCV was correlated to the duration of dialysis but not to the number of blood transfusions. Of 121 staff members 2 (1.6%) and 2 of 42 family members (4.7%) were positive indicating a low risk of the patients' contacts of acquiring HCV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Child
  • Contact Tracing*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Hepacivirus / immunology
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / immunology
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis C / immunology
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Risk Factors


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies