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Clin Chem Lab Med. 2005;43(8):827-33.

Development, validation and evaluation of a homogenous one-step reverse transcriptase-initiated PCR assay with competitive internal control for the detection of hepatitis C virus RNA.

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Institute of Experimental Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


Nucleic acid amplification testing for hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA has become an essential tool for the prevention and clinical management of hepatitis C. We describe the development, validation and evaluation of a homogenous reverse transcriptase-initiated HCV-PCR assay with competitive internal control that is applicable to both the quantitative detection of HCV genomes in single patient samples and the screening of blood donations by mini-pool testing. For the implementation of a positive run control, a HCV RNA-positive plasma sample was calibrated against an international HCV RNA standard preparation. For quantification purposes, an in vitro-transcribed RNA calibrator sequence was used. The detection limit of the assay (95% positive cut-off) was determined by probit analysis and was calculated as 114 IU/mL. Comparable sensitivity to different HCV template sequences was verified for HCV genotypes 1-5. Quantitative test results correlated well with viral loads that had been previously determined by the Bayer VERSANT HCV RNA 3.0 bDNA assay (n=53, R=0.943, p<0.001). During more than 5 years of blood donation testing, the specificity of the assay was found to be 99.51%. All assay components showed constant performance during this time period. In conclusion, we introduce a well-proven method that allows fast and reliable quantification of HCV genomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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