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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

UNITED STATES: FDA Approves New Test That Will Help Treat Hepatitis C


Los Angeles Times (06.20.2013)

The US Food and Drug Administration recently approved a diagnostic hepatitis test that can determine the genotype of a patient’s hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. This information is important for treatment as there is no vaccine for HCV, the most common blood-borne disease in the United States. The test, called the Abott RealTime HCV Genotype II, uses a patient’s blood plasma or serum to identify the virus as genotype 1, 1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4, or 5. Each genotype responds to different drug treatment, so knowing the genotype will help clinicians decide on the specific treatment to use. According to Tony Marion, a University of Tennessee Health Science Center professor, 1a and 1b are the most common genotypes in the United States. He stated that they did not respond very well to interferon-based treatments and were the most aggressive and difficult to treat. Marion noted that the benefit of this test included avoiding side effects of drugs that were not really suited to treatment. Also, matching treatment to genotyping tests could reduce costs and eliminate “one-size-fits-all” treatment. HCV infects approximately 3.2 million people in the United States and is the leading cause of transplants; 15,000 die annually from the disease. Untreated chronic infections may lead to liver cancer, severe liver damage, and liver failure.


Copyright © 2013 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in June 24, 2013. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.