Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the major causes of liver disease. HCV is a positive-strand RNA virus and transmitted primarily through intravenous drug use.
There are about 1000 new cases of hepatitis C in NZ each year, with about 50,000 people living with the virus. Worldwide, about 200 million people have HCV.
Hepatitis C is the most common preventable cause of liver disease in New Zealand and is the leading cause of liver transplantation.
There are different genotypes of the hepatitis C virus. In New Zealand, it is estimated that of those infected with hepatitis C virus:
• 55% have genotype 1 (which is further divided into genotype 1a and 1b)
• 35% have genotype 3
• 8% have genotype 2
• 1% have genotype 4 or 6.
The genotype used to be used to determine which treatment option was best but from 1 February 2019, Maviret (Glecaprevir/pibrentasvir) has been available fully funded by PHARMAC as a treatment option for all genotypes.
Refer to current NZ BPAC HCV treatment guidelines.
Microbiology - Virology
Dedicated EDTA tubes required, minimum 4mL whole blood
Must not be registered on same request number as CLCR, TVPC, MGTV tests
Please refer to separating guide in Additional Information section below
If sample arrives frozen, please ensure it does not thaw.
Hep C RNA
Hepatitis C PCR
Hepatitis C RNA
Please refer to separating guidelines in the Additional Information section below. All viral loads are required to be received in the laboratory by 4.30pm on Friday.
Chilled (2 - 8 degrees Celsius)
If separated sample will arrive within 70 hours of collection, chilled transport is acceptable.
If this timeframe cannot be guaranteed, please send samples frozen.
Results are reported as International Units (IU)/mL
HCV RNA quantitation by PCR. Abbott Alinity m automated platform.
$188 (Exclusive of GST)
Test Availability - Turnaround times are based on longest expected results received end of week and tested following week. Expect samples received M-Th to have 48 hr turnaround. Testing is performed on Abbott Alinity M platform.
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