Confirmation of hepatitis C virus infection by new four-antigen recombinant immunoblot assay

Lancet. 1991 Feb 9;337(8737):317-9. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(91)90942-i.


A new four-antigen recombinant immunoblot assay (4-RIBA) for confirmation of hepatitis C virus (HCV) C-100 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) reactivity was tested in stored serum samples (1984-86) of blood donors and recipients and compared with results from polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of fresh (1990) plasma samples in donors and recipients from the original study. Of 37 HCV C-100 ELISA-positive blood products, 8 were 4-RIBA positive, of which 7 were implicated in post-transfusion non-A, non-B hepatitis (PT-NANBH) and/or PCR confirmed recipient HCV infection. Of 9 recipients with PT-NANBH, 8 were reactive in 4-RIBA (6 positive and 2 indeterminate). With fresh plasma samples, 3 donors and 6 recipients who were 4-RIBA positive were also PCR positive. 4 4-RIBA indeterminate and 78 4-RIBA negative samples of donors and recipients were PCR negative. Of 6 4-RIBA positive recipients, 5 were PCR positive four to six years later. 1.6% of the 383 recipients became chronically infected with HCV. The new 4-RIBA represents a candidate confirmation test to discriminate between infective and non-infective HCV C-100 ELISA-positive blood donors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepacivirus / immunology
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / analysis
  • Hepatitis C / genetics
  • Hepatitis C / immunology*
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting / instrumentation
  • Immunoblotting / methods
  • Immunoblotting / standards
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Prospective Studies


  • Hepatitis Antibodies