ABSTRACT: Prospective studies have shown a relationship between the transfusion of donor blood which is positive for antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (anti‐HBc) and an increased incidence of non‐A, non‐B hepatitis. The anti‐HBc test was selected on the assumption that epidemiologic circumstances predisposing donors to hepatitis B infection also might favor exposure to non‐A, non‐B hepatitis. Current radioimmunoassays (RIA) and enzyme‐linked immunoassays (EIA) for anti‐ HBc utilize hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) prepared by recombinant DNA technology, whereas the original RIA anti‐HBc assay used HBcAg derived from hepatitis B virions. In the current study, 1329 sera were evaluated of which 23.3 percent were anti‐HBc positive. The results indicate that sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the current EIA and RIA tests for anti‐HBc (Abbott Diagnostic Laboratories) are virtually identical to the original RIA test kit. In addition, all donor samples (128 specimens) administered to 57 cases of non‐A, non‐B hepatitis that were prospectively followed at Baylor College of Medicine for the Transfusion‐Transmitted Viruses (TTV) Study group were retested with the EIA‐recombinant anti‐HBc assay. All 21 samples which were reactive in the original RIA anti‐HBc test also were positive by the current EIA procedure. One sample was EIA positive/RIA negative, and 106 other samples were negative by both assays. Thus, commercial anti‐HBc kits based on HBcAg derived by recombinant DNA technology, should retain their predictive value for reducing the incidence of non‐A, non‐B hepatitis as described in the prospective studies.
Transfusion – Wiley
Published: Sep 10, 1987
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