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Home / altona helps fight hep

altona helps fight hep

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day, one of WHO’s officially mandated global public health days. As every year over 1 million people are dying from a hepatitis related illness, the campaign with the slogan “We’re not waiting” is emphasizing the need for timely testing and treatment even more this year. A huge number of cases remain undiagnosed and untreated, although with early detection and appropriate treatment, many hepatitis related deaths could be prevented.

altona Diagnostics provides four different AltoStar® ready-to-use test kits for the detection of acute and chronic viral hepatitis via real-time PCR technology. These CE-IVD marked AltoStar® reagents are intended for use as part of the AltoStar® Molecular Diagnostic Workflow which automates PCR analyses from sample extraction to PCR results. The AltoStar® Automation System AM16, a pipetting workstation, in combination with the AltoStar® Connect software, is the centerpiece of the AltoStar® Workflow. To complete the AltoStar® hepatitis portfolio, a fifth AltoStar® kit, for the detection of Hepatitis D, is currently under development. A Research Use Only (RUO) version is already available.

Hepatitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the liver. One of the main causes of hepatitis are infections with one of the five phylogenetically unrelated hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E. While patients usually recover from a transient, acute HAV or HEV infection, over 325 million people worldwide live with a chronic hepatitis B and/or C infection, which can lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.


Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is an RNA virus that is mainly transmitted through contaminated food or water or through close contact with an infected person. HAV infections never become chronic and almost all people fully recover and establish a lifelong immunity. Nevertheless, some patients die from fulminant hepatitis. There is a vaccine available to prevent HAV infections.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a DNA virus that causes acute or chronic hepatitis. The virus is transmitted through contact with blood and other body fluids. Globally, over 257 million people are suffering from chronic HBV infection with over 800.000 deaths annually. HBV infections can be prevented by vaccination.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an RNA virus. Infection occurs through contact with infectious blood. Clinical manifestations vary between acute and chronic disease. Acute Hepatitis C can be cured by antiviral medicines, but a lot of people are unaware of their infection and in many countries access to treatment remains limited. About 71 million people worldwide suffer from chronic HCV infections that can lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer resulting in about 400.000 deaths per year. Up to now, no effective vaccine against HCV exists.


Hepatitis D virus (HDV) is a satellite virus with an RNA genome that needs the presence of HBV for its replication. Therefore, vaccination against HBV also prevents HDV infections. About 5% of people who have a chronic infection with hepatitis B virus are also suffering from HDV infection. HBV/HDV coinfection is the most severe form of chronic viral hepatitis and treatment success rates are low.


Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an RNA virus, mainly transmitted through contaminated food (especially raw meat) or water. Moreover, transmission through blood products is also possible and can be prevented by routine testing. There are 20 million HEV infections worldwide, with about 3.3 million symptomatic cases. A vaccine against HEV is licensed in China but is not available elsewhere.


Find out more about the AltoStar® real-time PCR test kits for hepatitis detection.

Find out more about the World Hepatitis Day.

Find out more about the AltoStar® hepatitis portfolio with our hepatitis flyer.