Published online Nov 12, 2015. doi: 10.5501/wjv.v4.i4.323
Peer-review started: June 4, 2015
First decision: August 8, 2015
Revised: September 25, 2015
Accepted: October 23, 2015
Article in press: October 27, 2015
Published online: November 12, 2015
Viral hepatitis B and C virus (HBV and HCV) are responsible for the most of chronic liver disease worldwide and are transmitted by parenteral route, sexual and vertical transmission. One important measure to reduce the burden of these infections is the diagnosis of acute and chronic cases of HBV and HCV. In order to provide an effective diagnosis and monitoring of antiviral treatment, it is important to choose sensitive, rapid, inexpensive, and robust analytical methods. Primary diagnosis of HBV and HCV infection is made by using serological tests for detecting antigens and antibodies against these viruses. In order to confirm primary diagnosis, to quantify viral load, to determine genotypes and resistance mutants for antiviral treatment, qualitative and quantitative molecular tests are used. In this manuscript, we review the current serological and molecular methods for the diagnosis of hepatitis B and C.
Core tip: Reliable methods for diagnosing hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are essential to reduce the burden of these infections. Serological and molecular assays are used to identify acute and chronic cases of infection. In this article, the current knowledge about HBV and HCV diagnosis is updated and emphased the characteristics of each techniques to be useful to most laboratory personnel.