Hepatitis C viral load

Diagnostic Use

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

Delphic Registration Code


Laboratory Handling


Dedicated EDTA tubes required, minimum 4mL whole blood


If sample arrives frozen, please ensure it does not thaw.


Please refer to separating guide in Additional Information section below


Testing available daily on routine weekdays.

Test Adds

Not available. Dedicated sample tubes required.


Hepatitis C PCR
Hepatitis C RNA
HCV quantitation

Turnaround Time

4 days

Test Code