Abbott has launched the HBsAg Next Qualitative Assay for early detection of the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) in India. Early identification of HBV infections not only helps in preventing or delaying progression of advanced liver diseases but also reduces the risk of transmission.
Hepatitis B virus is often silently undiagnosed, with only 10.5% of all people estimated to be living with Hepatitis B aware of their condition. Being an advanced, next generation assay for earlier detection of HBV, the HBsAg Next Qualitative Assay detects HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) in human serum and plasma. It also overcomes traditional challenges by showcasing the highest level of assay performance required to detect infection in immunocompromised groups.
Dr. Jaganathan Sickan, Senior Associate Director, Medical Affairs, Core Diagnostics at Abbott said, “In India, Hepatitis B screening is vital since it is vastly under-diagnosed. With HBsAg Next qualitative assay, laboratories in India can now detect HBV earlier than ever. This will help physicians identify at risk patients sooner, which in turn leads to early treatment and care. This assay represents the next generation of HBV diagnostic performance and will enhance our comprehensive infectious disease portfolio.”
Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by Hepatitis B virus. It can be acute or chronic, with chronic cases potentially leading to liver failure, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. About 296 million people worldwide currently live with chronic hepatitis B, with 10% to 15% of the world’s HBV carriers (40 million) found in India alone.
Dr. Ekta Gupta, Professor, In-Charge, Department of Clinical Virology, The Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), New Delhi, said, “The national burden of Hepatitis B is significant but due to the extremely low rate of diagnosis in India, we are unaware of the actual situation. This assay not only aids in earlier detection of the infection, it reduces the risks of undetected virus. With such highly sensitive qualitative assays, doctors will be able to identify at-risk patients and provide appropriate treatment sooner.”
Laboratories can now have a consistent detection of all HBV genotypes and enhance detection and confirmation of mutants with the help of HBsAg Next Qualitative Solution.Testing for HBV can be performed for diagnostic purposes, as a screening test, or even after death (post-mortem) to prevent HBV spread to recipients of blood, blood components, cells, tissues, and organs.
Dr. John Fletcher, Professor, Department of Clinical Virology, CMC Vellore commented, “CMC’s commitment to screen HBsAg started around the 1970s and we continue to embrace the state-of-the-art technologies and chemistries. HBV identification involves overcoming several obstacles like window identification, detection of mutants, occult infections, breakthrough infections and reactivations. Next generation HBsAg assays with superior performance characteristics can enhance stringent early detection and identification of challenging phases of HBV infections as well as efficient monitoring of functional cure. Cumulatively, these benefits converge to significantly reduce the risk of transmission and overall improve the global continuum of care by reducing the pernicious first gap.”The World Health Organization (WHO) has set targets to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health concern by 2030 to reduce infection incidence and related complications.