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Gastroenterology. 1999 Mar;116(3):636-42.

Real-time detection system for quantification of hepatitis C virus genome.

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Department of Microbiology, The Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo, Japan.



For diagnosis of hepatitis C virus infection and monitoring of viral load in patients, a highly sensitive and accurate hepatitis C virus quantification system is essential.


Hepatitis C virus genome was detected by real/time detection system using an ABI Prism 7700 sequence detector (Perkin Elmer Corp./Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA).


As few as 10 copies of the genome were detected, and the quantification range was between 10(1) and 10(8) copies (r > 0.99). This system was 10-100-fold more sensitive than an Amplicor monitor (Roche Diagnostic Systems, Branchburg, NJ). The coefficient of variation values for both intra-assay precision and interassay reproducibility of identifying the genome quantification ranged from 0.37% to 2.00% and 0.88% to 4.66%, respectively. The system could detect the genome in 98% of patients with chronic hepatitis, 95.8% of patients with liver cirrhosis, and 100% of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who had the antibody to hepatitis C virus, but could not detect the genome in patients without the antibody.


The establishment of a real-time detection system enables more accurate diagnosis of infection and monitoring of viral load in interferon-treated patients via quantification of viral genome.

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