Investigation of an algorithm for anti HCV EIA reactivity in blood donor screening in Turkey in the absence of nucleic acid amplification screening

Transfus Apher Sci. 2017 Oct;56(5):732-737. doi: 10.1016/j.transci.2017.08.025. Epub 2017 Sep 8.


Purpose: In this study we aimed to propose an algorithm for initial anti HCV EIA reactive blood donations in Turkey where nucleic acid amplification tests are not yet obligatory for donor screening.

Methods: A total of 416 anti HCV screening test reactive donor samples collected from 13 blood centers from three cities in Turkey were tested in duplicate by Ortho HCV Ab Version 3.0 and Radim HCV Ab. All the repeat reactive samples were tested by INNO-LIA HCV Ab 3.0 or Chiron RIBA HCV 3.0 and Abbott Real Time HCV. Intra-assay correlations were calculated with Pearson r test. ROC analysis was used to study the relationship between EIA tests and the confirmatory tests.

Results: The number of repeat reactive results with Ortho EIA were 221 (53.1%) whereas that of microEIA, 62 (14.9%). Confirmed positivity rate was 14.6% (33/226) by RIBA and 10.6% (24/226) by NAT. Reactive PCR results were predicted with 100% sensitivity and 95% specificity with S/CO levels of 8.1 with Ortho EIA and 3.4 with microEIA.

Conclusions: Repeat reactivity rates declined with a second HCV antibody assay. Samples repeat reactive with one HCV antibody test and negative with the other were all NAT negative. All the NAT reactive samples were RIBA positive. None of the RIBA indeterminate or negative samples were NAT reactive. Considering the threshold values for EIA kits determined by ROC analysis NAT was decided to be performed for the samples above the threshold value and a validated supplemental HCV antibody test for the samples below.

Keywords: Blood donors; Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; Hepatitis C virus; Nucleic acid amplification techniques.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Donors
  • Donor Selection / methods*
  • Hepatitis C / blood*
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques / methods*
  • Turkey