Hepatitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by various factors, including toxins (such as alcohol), medicines, or infection. Infectious hepatitis is caused primarily by the hepatitis A, B and C viruses. Hepatitis can have serious consequences for a patient's health.
The healthcare challenge
- Hepatitis A is present throughout the world, particularly in countries with poor socio-economic conditions.
- Hepatitis B is the most widespread sexually transmitted disease and has the highest global mortality rate:
- 400 million people are affected by chronic hepatitis B,
- it causes 2 million deaths every year,
- 70% of patients with chronic hepatitis B live in Asia.
- Hepatitis C is responsible for approximately 20% of acute hepatitis cases and 70% of chronic hepatitis cases worldwide. Chronic hepatitis C is a major cause of cirrhosis and cancer of the liver.
- It affects 3% of the global population, which equates to 170 million people,
- It is the cause of one out of 40 deaths throughout the world.
- Between 2.3 and 4.7 million people are newly infected each year.
The role of in vitro diagnostics
- Biological tests are used to elucidate the signs of hepatitis infection (an elevation in hepatic enzymes, transaminases and other enzymes in the blood).
- Virological tests (viral antibodies and antigens using serologic testing, detection of the viral load using molecular biology) enable:
- the confirmation of diagnosis of viral hepatitis,
- the identification of which virus is responsible and the onset of the infection,
- an indication, in some cases, of the condition’s medium-term development,
- treatment monitoring.
- bioMérieux offers a comprehensive range of products targeting the routine diagnosis and confirmation of hepatitis A, B and C.
- The latest in bioMérieux's test offering, VIDAS® Anti-HCV, detects the presence of the hepatitis C virus in less than 40 minutes. In conjunction with the HAV and HBV detection tests, it can be used for the differential diagnosis of viral hepatitis.