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Semin Liver Dis. 2006 Nov;26(4):309-17.

New nucleic acid diagnostic tests in viral hepatitis.

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INSERM, Unit 271, Lyon, France.


The development of nucleic acid assays is of critical clinical importance for the diagnosis of viral hepatitis and the management of antiviral therapy. For both chronic hepatitis B and C, sensitive and quantitative assays are required for the monitoring of viral load. Better assays are being developed and their role in the management of antiviral treatment has been clearly demonstrated. Genotyping assays are critical for the decision of treatment strategies in hepatitis C, although in hepatitis B this issue is more debated. The detection of viral genome mutations for the diagnosis of hepatitis B virus resistance is critical with the use of nucleoside analogs. This may also prove useful for anti-hepatitis C virus therapy with the rapid development of specific inhibitors that may select for drug-resistant mutants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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