Background: Countries use national policies to screen and diagnose people infected with the hepatitis C virus to prevent transmission and eliminate the disease. In May 2016, the World Health Organization set a target of 90% diagnosis and elimination of the disease by 2030. The aim of this study was to evaluate the screening and diagnostic algorithm of hepatitis C by serological methods.
Methods: The blood samples of people referring to blood transfusion centers in Kerman province in southeastern Iran from January 2014 to January 2020 were examined with the defined algorithm for the presence of antibodies against hepatitis C virus by ELISA and confirmation test (RIBA).
Results: Based on the algorithm used, little/no correlations were found between the effect of age on OD in ELISA and RIBA test results, respectively (r = 0.07, p = 0.03) and (r = 0.19, p = 0.001). The correlation between the amount of OD in the ELISA test and the results of RIBA test was (r = 0.24, p = 0.01) and no significant correlation was observed between OD in ELISA and the indeterminate immunoblot test results (r = -0.04 and p = 0.2).
Conclusions: The results of this study show, in low-risk populations, all samples that have reactive ELISA results should be confirmed without considering the amount of ELISA OD and the signal-to-cut-off (S/Co) ratios. The existing algorithm should be modified as soon as possible and newer technologies should be used to perform the test.