CAIRO – The American University in Cairo said Wednesday that a team of its researchers has designed a faster and cheaper test for all types of hepatitis C.
The development “reduces the two-step testing process carried out over a number of days to a one-step process that takes less than an hour ... at a fraction of the cost of traditional diagnostic protocols,” the university said.
The liquid chemistry test can diagnose hepatitis C using gold nanoparticles, it said.
“Our test is sensitive and inexpensive, and it does not need sophisticated equipment,” said Hassan Azzazy, professor of chemistry and head of the research team.
“Detecting HCV during the first six months raises the recovery rate to 90 percent. Little is done on the national level to combat the alarming prevalence of hepatitis C in Egypt,” said Azzazy.
The AUC said Egypt has about 10 million people who suffer from the hepatitis C virus (HCV), with the blood-borne pathogen infecting almost 500,000 in the country each year.
Worldwide, around 170 million people are estimated to be living with the chronic disease caused by the virus. — AFP