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Glossary of Terms

Hepatitis C

A virus that causes hepatitis or inflammation of the liver in a substantial number of individuals exposed to it.


Proteins (called immunoglobulins) formed by the body in response to proteins foreign to an individual.  Each individual has thousands of different antibodies, each of which reacts with a different protein.


Specific immunoglobulin given to women to prevent Rh haemolytic disease in the Rh-positive newborn babies of women with Rh negative blood.


Product made from the same starting material and processed at the same time.


A preliminary test for hepatitis known as the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay.  Samples from those testing ELISA positive are normally then tested using the RIBA method.


The IRBA (Recombinant Immunoblot Assay) test is used to detect the presence of antibodies to Hepatitis C in the blood.


The PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test is used for detecting the presence of the Hepatitis C virus in the blood

National Blood Centre, James's Street, Dublin 8.       Tel: 00 353 1 4322800       Fax: 00 353 1 4322930