Relevance of RIBA-3 supplementary test to HCV PCR positivity and genotypes for HCV confirmation of blood donors.
Dow BC., Buchanan I., Munro H., Follett EA., Davidson F., Prescott LE., Yap PL., Simmonds P.
HCV antibody screening of 624,910 blood donations resulted in 3,832 samples being referred for confirmation. All were tested by RIBA-3 with 2,710 negative, 945 indeterminate and 177 positive results. HCV RNA was detected by PCR in an average of 69.5% of RIBA-3 positives (4 bands 84.1%; 3 bands 74.1%; 2 bands 34.1%) and only 0.53% of RIBA-3 indeterminates. Eighty-four percent of samples with a total RIBA-3 band intensity score (maximum 16) of > or = 8 were PCR positive compared with only 22% of those with a score of < 8. Total mean band intensities for HCV genotype 1 samples (n = 65) were 13.2, genotype 2 (n = 17) 11.4 and genotype 3 (n = 65) 11.2 with type 1 samples showing greater reactivity with c100 and c33 antibodies. No PCR positive type 1 samples were found with RIBA-3 total band scores less than 8, no PCR positive type 2 samples less than 6, whilst PCR positive type 3 samples were found with scores as low as 2. NS5 indeterminates were the most common (40.2%) single band pattern but yielded no PCR positive samples, followed by c33 (23.3%) with one PCR positive and c100 (20.2%) with one PCR positive whilst c22 indeterminates were least common (16.3%) but included three PCR positive donors. All five RIBA-3 indeterminate PCR positive donors were type 3.