Automated RIBA™ HCV strip immunoblot assay: A novel tool for the diagnosis of hepatitis C virus infection in hemodialysis patients

F. Fabrizi, P. Martin, V. Dixit, S. Quan, M. Brezina, E. Kaufman, K. Sra, M. Mousa, R. DiNello, A. Polito, G. Gitnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hemodialysis (HD) patients remain a high-risk group for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Serological assays (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, ELISAs) are the only tests currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States for the diagnosis of HCV. The RIBA™ HCV Strip Immunoblot Assay (SIA) is an established method for supplemental testing of repeat reactive hepatitis C ELISA patients on HD. However, the current manual procedure is labor intensive, requiring subjective band scoring and result interpretation. Recently, the automated CHIRON® RIBA™ HCV Processor System has been designed to perform RIBA supplemental testing. The CHIRON RIBA HCV Processor System consists of a bench-top instrument that provides objective evaluation of the RIBA immunoblot strips, by measuring the light differentially reflected from the developed bands and white background, creating a density of reflectance. The CHIRON RIBA HCV Processor System assesses the intensity of each of the reactive bands in relation to the intensity of the internal control bands on each RIBA HCV strip. Comparison between processor and manual protocols was performed using a large (n = 200) cohort of ELISA 3.0 HCV negative and positive patients on maintenance HD. The test characteristics of RIBA HCV 3.0 SIA were identical with manual and automated runs. The relative intensity values of antigenic bands by the CHIRON RIBA HCV 3.0 Processor System between anti-HCV positive and negative patients were significantly different; only 15 of 784 (1.9%) antigenic bands had borderline reactivities. The correlation of test results between manual and automated runs was very high (kappa value 0.989). Among positive results by RIBA HCV 3.0 SIA, there was a strong concordance between manual and automated runs with regard to the pattern of reactivity (kappa value 0.943). The discordant results between manual and automated protocols were attributable to increased variability of antigen scores close to the cutoff value for both tests. In conclusion, the CHIRON RIBA HCV 3.0 Processor System is capable of performing RIBA HCV 3.0 SIA in the HD population accurately with minimal operator involvement. The test characteristics of RIBA HCV 3.0 SIA were identical by manual and automated runs. There was a strong correlation between the results of the manual and automated runs; the few discordant results between the two procedures were mostly due to increased variability of antigen scores close to the cutoff value for both tests. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA have recently included chronic HD patients among those persons for whom routine HCV testing is recommended; HCV-infected patients on HD often have a high rate of indeterminate results by manual RIBA technology which is operator dependent for band scoring and result interpretation. The CHIRON RIBA HCV 3.0 Processor System may be very useful for supplemental anti-HCV testing of ELISA repeat reactive specimens in clinical practice within dialysis units.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2001

Keywords

  • Anti-HCV antibodies
  • Automated technique
  • Hemodialysis patients
  • Supplemental tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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    Fabrizi, F., Martin, P., Dixit, V., Quan, S., Brezina, M., Kaufman, E., Sra, K., Mousa, M., DiNello, R., Polito, A., & Gitnick, G. (2001). Automated RIBA™ HCV strip immunoblot assay: A novel tool for the diagnosis of hepatitis C virus infection in hemodialysis patients. American Journal of Nephrology, 21(2), 104-111. https://doi.org/10.1159/000046232