Recent Activities - 2019
NRL Evaluations: NRL Participates in a Clinical Study to Evaluate the Performance of HCV Viral Load Assays from Samples Obtained using Dried Blood Spot or Plasma Separation Card
The recent introduction of highly effective treatment for hepatitis C infection means that HCV has now become a curable disease. However, current testing methods for HCV are complex and costly, creating a barrier to diagnosis in resource-limited settings. Frequently, access to HCV testing is restricted to those who can attend a blood collection centre located at a central laboratory.
The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics are coordinating a prospective diagnostic accuracy study of HCV viral load assays from patient samples obtained using dried blood spot or plasma separation cards. Use of this sample type means specimens can be collected at clinics and sent safely and cheaply to central laboratories for testing. It is anticipated that 1000 participants will be enrolled in the study; with capillary, venous blood and plasma specimens collected from each participant.
NRL have been designated as the reference laboratory for the study and will receive specimens from clinical collection sites located in Georgia, Cameroon, Rwanda and Greece. NRL will be responsible for processing and storing specimens, performing reference testing on site, sending specimens to collaborating laboratories in Sydney and Hobart for additional testing; and collation of data from all Australian test sites.