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J Virol Methods. 2006 May;133(2):195-204. Epub 2005 Dec 27.

Real-time multiplex PCR assay to quantify hepatitis C virus RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Pathology, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland. pugnalp8@etu.unige.ch

Abstract

Ultrasensitive methods to measure very low levels of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA in biological samples may have diagnostic and prognostic significance and be useful to evaluate the response to antiviral treatment. A sensitive assay to quantify HCV RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was developed and validated using the iCycler iQ Detection System (Bio-Rad) coupled with TaqMan chemistry. HCV was co-amplified with the endogenous control glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase in a multiplex reaction. Calculated PCR amplification efficiencies for both target and control genes were used in a mathematical model for relative quantitation of HCV RNA. A linear relationship between input RNA and C(T) values over 6 log dilutions was observed for both HCV- and GAPDH-specific products (R(2) > or = 0.99). As few as 1.5 IU/reaction could be detected, with high accuracy (CV < or= 3.94%) and reproducibility (CV < or = 2.20%). Quantitation of HCV RNA levels ranging from 10(3) to 10(7) IU/ml as measured in 47 plasma samples was highly correlated with values obtained by the COBAS Amplicor HCV Monitor test, v2.0 (Roche) (R(2) = 0.977). In conclusion, this assay provides an excellent tool to determine accurately HCV kinetics in PBMCs during antiviral therapy and to assess the long-term significance of different patterns of response to treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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