Cuba produces diagnostic kits for Hepatitis C
The Molecular Biology Laboratory of the Immunoassays Center produced the first kit of UMELOSA HCV QUALITATIVE, confirmatory system for hepatitis C diagnosis, which allows confirming all the HCV positive cases that are detected in blood banks -primary inquiring method of this disease.
Chemistry graduate Yaimé González, the centers lab head, announced that a kit is being produced for the detection of hepatitis C virus (HCV) NA for the confirmation of the infection, awarded by the Academy of Sciences of Cuba, and that is used in two specialized laboratories in Havana: the Molecular Genetics laboratory of the "Hermanos Amejeiras" Hospital and the Hepatitis laboratory of the "Pedro Kourí" Institute (IPK).
According to the specialist, the Immunoassays Center is currently using molecular biology techniques for the diagnosis that is very expensive in the international market. She put as an example that a 96-determination kit saves the country around USD$5,760, should one takes into consideration that Cuba reports 0.5 million blood donations annually, of which 0.8% are reactive to antibodies against HCV.
The scientist added that by 2007 they should have a kit for the quantification of hepatitis C viral charge, whichs very useful for the follow-up of the patients with treatment.