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Table 4 Summary of seven adults in whom HCV core antigen (HCV-Ag) assay was falsely negative, as compared to PCR for HCV RNA as a gold-standard reference test

From: Hepatitis virus (HCV) diagnosis and access to treatment in a UK cohort

Age group (years) Sex Patient location Ethnicity HIV status HCV Ag (fmol/L) HCV Ab
(sample/cut-off ratio)
Genotype HCV viral load (IU/ml)
30–39 F Sexual health Unknown negative 0.0 11.8 N/A 25
40–49 M Primary care European negative 0.0 12.2 N/A 226
50–59 F Hospital in-patient (General Medicine) European positive 0.0 3.1 N/A 302
20–29 M Prison European negative 0.62 14.2 2b 2916
20–29 M Prison European N/A 0.00 12.6 N/A 8232
30–39 F Hospital out-patient European N/A 1.98 15.8 1b 13,860
30–39 M Prison European negative 0.00 12.2 3a 174,834
  1. N/A = not available. Total number of HCV-Ag tests carried out in this period n = 305. None of the patients with a false negative result underwent a repeat Ag test so laboratory error cannot be ruled out in this instance. Threshold for positive HCV-Ag defined as ≥3 fmol/L. Samples are ranked in ascending viral load order