E2 and NS5: new antigens for detection of hepatitis C virus antibodies

J Med Virol. 1994 Dec;44(4):395-7. doi: 10.1002/jmv.1890440415.


The value of two new hepatitis C virus (HCV) antigens for detection of HCV antibodies was studied. These two recombinant antigens were derived from the nonstructural-5 (NS5) and envelope-2 (E2) region of the HCV genome. In a panel of 33 HCV-RNA positive samples with indeterminate Riba-2 confirmatory test results, 29 samples (88%) showed additional antibody reactivity against E2 and 12 samples (36%) showed additional reactivity against NS5. Among 39 HCV-RNA negative, Riba-2 indeterminate donor samples, no additional E2 or NS5 reactivity was found in 34 samples (87%); while 5 samples (13%) showed additional reactivity against NS5 and/or E2. E2 reactivity thus resolved the majority of hitherto indeterminate samples. In serial samples from nine posttransfusion hepatitis C patients, NS5 and E2 antibodies did not appear earlier than classical HCV antibodies. However, E2 antibodies eventually appeared in all nine patients. The recombinant E2 might be a candidate antigen for future HCV antibody assays.

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepacivirus / immunology*
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / analysis*
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / immunology
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / immunology*
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / immunology*


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins
  • glycoprotein E2, Hepatitis C virus