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Hepatitis C Serology

Alias: HCV, anti-HCV, Hep C

Discipline: Virology

Test information: Used in the diagnosis of acute Hepatitis C infection and determining carrier/donor status. Presence provides evidence of exposure HCV, but does not provide evidence of current active infection. Antibodies usually takes from 6 weeks to 3 months but may take up to six months to develop from time of exposure. In almost all patient's antibody is present by 1 month after onset of acute illness. Therefore, patients with acute hepatitis who initially test negative may need follow-up testing. This test should be used in conjunction with patient history and other hepatitis markers. Newly reactive samples are tested locally for Hepatitis C RNA and if applicable sent to the reference laboratory for genotyping.

Availability: Available locally Monday - Friday during routine hours: 08:45 - 17:15.

Turnaround Time: 3 Days

Specimen Type(s)
  • Clotted blood;
Other Acceptable Specimen Type(s)
Specimen Container - Adult
  • Gold Top SST BD;
Specimen Container - Paediatric
  • Plain Top Sarstedt;
  • Hepatitis C Virus antibodies;
Part of a test profile?
Volume (min) of sample to be sent to laboratory
5 - 10mL
Patient Preparation, Sample Handling and Transport
  • Minimum-clotting time 30 minutes.
  • Specimens should be transported to the laboratory as soon as possible.
  • Outside of normal hours samples should be refrigerated (2 °C to 8 °C).
  • Do not send grossly haemolysed specimens.
Maximum add on time
Units and Reference Ranges / Interpretation
Hepatitis C Antibody Results: Non-reactive / Reactive
Hepatitis C Antibody Results: Negative / Positive
UKAS number
UKAS accredited test?
  • Performance has not been established using cadaver specimens.
  • Interference may be encountered with certain sera containing antibodies against reagent components.
  • Anti-HCV antibodies may be undetectable in some stages of the infection (acute phase of hepatitis or presence of a serological scar) and in some clinical conditions (immunosuppression).
  • Specimens from heparinised patients may be partially coagulated and erroneous results could occur due to the presence of fibrin.

If you have any queries about a test or results interpretation please contact us.

Last updated: 30-05-2023