Hepatitis viruses constitute a major public health problem because of the morbidity and mortality associated with the acute and chronic consequences of these infections. New immunization strategies have been developed to eliminate the spread of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis A virus (HAV) in the United States.
Recommendations have also been developed for the prevention and control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Because of the high rate of asymptomatic infection with these viruses, information about the prevalence of these diseases is needed to monitor prevention efforts. By testing a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population, NHANES will provide the most reliable estimates of age-specific prevalence needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies to prevent these infections. In addition, NHANES provides the means to better define the epidemiology of other hepatitis viruses. NHANES testing for markers of infection with hepatitis viruses will be used to determine secular trends in infection rates across most age and racial/ethnic groups, and will provide a national picture of the epidemiologic determinants of these infections.
All participants aged 2 years and older are eligible to be tested.
Blood specimens are processed, stored, and shipped to the Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for Infectious Diseases, National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Detailed instructions on specimen collection and processing can be found on the NHANES website.
The VITROS Anti-HBs Quantitative assay is performed using the VITROS Anti-HBs Quantitative Reagent Pack and VITROS Immunodiagnostic Products Anti-HBs Calibrators on the VITROS ECi/ECiQ Immunodiagnostic System.
An immunometric technique is used. This involves the reaction of anti-HBs in the sample with HBsAg (ad and ay subtypes) coated onto the wells. A horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-labeled HBsAg conjugate (ad and ay subtypes) then complexes with the bound anti-HBs forming an “antigen sandwich.” Unbound materials are removed by washing.
A reagent containing luminogenic substrates (a luminol derivative and a peracid salt) and an electron transfer agent, is added to the wells. The HRP in the bound conjugate catalyzes the oxidation of the luminol derivative, producing light. The electron transfer agent increases the level and duration of the light produced. The light signals are read by the VITROS ECi/ECiQ Immunodiagnostic System. The amount of HRP conjugate bound is directly proportional to the concentration of anti-HBs present.
There were changes (from the previous 2 years of NHANES) to equipment and lab methods.
Read the General Documentation of Laboratory Data file for detailed data processing and editing protocols. The analytical methods are described in the Description of Laboratory Methodology section above.
The NHANES quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) protocols meet the 1988 Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act mandates. Detailed quality control and quality assurance instructions are discussed in the NHANES Laboratory/Medical Technologists Procedures Manual (LPM). Read the General Documentation of Laboratory Data file for detailed QA/QC protocols. A detailed description of the quality assurance and quality control procedures can be found on the NHANES website.
The analysis of NHANES laboratory data must be conducted with the key survey design and basic demographic variables. The NHANES Household Questionnaire Data Files contain demographic data, health indicators, and other related information collected during household interviews. They also contain all survey design variables and sample weights for these age groups. The phlebotomy file includes auxiliary information such as the conditions precluding venipuncture. The household questionnaire and phlebotomy files may be linked to the laboratory data file using the unique survey participant identifier SEQN.
Exam sample weights should be used for analyses. Please refer to the Analytic Guidelines for further details on the use of sample weights and other analytic issues. The Analytic Guidelines are available on the NHANES website.
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