Hepatitis B viral load test debuts in PH for World Hepatitis Day

Sep 5, 2022 | Blogs

Macare Medicals introduces Xpert® HBV Viral Load, a fast, real-time quantitative PCR test that can monitor Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) DNA in human serum or plasma. The test is accurate and can provide results in just an hour. The move comes as a response to the need for effective and efficient HBV viral load testing. Chronic HBV is diagnosed in one of 10 Filipinos, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It is not always quick to diagnose in some patients as symptoms may present very few to none at all. Hepatitis B symptoms typically appear as fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice. People who observe said symptoms may already be in a chronic stage and will need proper treatment management. Currently, there is no cure for Hepatitis B. It can be managed by maintaining comfort and general health of the patient. If left undiagnosed, it may lead to serious liver diseases, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. In 2019, 820,000 HBV-related deaths were due to cirrhosis and liver cancer, according to WHO. People with HBV are managed with immune modulator drugs and antiviral drugs to suppress replication of the virus. They have to be monitored to confirm if patients respond to the drugs using tests like HBV Viral Load. In a webinar celebrating World Hepatitis Day, Macare Medicals introduced the Xpert® HBV Viral Load test in partnership with Cepheid, a molecular diagnostics company that developed Xpert® MTB/RIF and GeneXpert® System, and the Hepatology Society of the Philippines (HSP), the event host. The webinar was titled “Hep B Can’t Wait. Xpert® HBV Viral Load: Simplifying HBV Treatment Management.” Dr. Angela D. Salvaña, current HSP president, explained the landscape of HBV testing in the country. Dr. Romy Ho, Cepheid Director of Medical Affairs, Infectious Diseases for Southeast Asia, discussed the clinical value of HBV viral load testing in disease management. Xpert® HBV Viral Load test is already available at Macare Medicals, the exclusive distributor of GeneXpert® System, a cartridge-based testing platform, and Xpert® assays.

Tests also available include MTB/Rif Ultra, MTB XDR, SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus, HIV-1 Viral Load, HCV Viral Load, HBV Viral Load, C. difficile, SA Infection, Carba-R, vanA/vanB, and Norovirus, Factor II & Factor V, and BCR-ABL. Tags: Hepatitis B, cirrhosis, liver cancer, HBV, Xpert References:

1. World Health Organization. PH must act to eliminate hepatitis. 27 July 2019. https://bit.ly/3ukQddi

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is Viral Hepatitis? Accessed April 2022 https://bit.ly/38CA0rx

3. World Health Organization. Globocan 2020 fact sheet. Accessed April 2022. https://bit.ly/3K5Y5o9

4. World Health Organization. Hepatitis B fact sheet. 27 Jul 2021. https://bit.ly/3urpewE

5. Yellow Warriors Society Philippines, Inc. About Viral Hepatitis. Accessed June 2022. https://bit.ly/3xwj3I5