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Single-step PCR in molecular diagnosis of hepatitis C virus infection.

By E Farma, E Boeri, P Bettini, C M Repetto, J McDermott, F B Lillo and O E Varnier


The diagnostic utility of two PCR systems and three PCR detection methods for hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA was evaluated in serum samples. A nested PCR was considered the reference assay and was compared with two single-step PCR methods: the first is based on the detection of PCR products by liquid hybridization with a 32P-end-labeled probe, and the second is the Roche Amplicor colorimetric assay using microwell plate hybridization with a specific nucleic acid probe. Using the Pelicheck HCV RNA Eurohep genotype 1 proficiency panel, our laboratory achieved medium-high levels of performance with all three methods. The highest sensitivity was, however, observed with the isotopic single-step PCR (ss-PCR) method. The analytical sensitivity of ss-PCR with isotopic detection and ss-PCR with colorimetric detection was identical to that of nested PCR, with a 100% result concordance. Comparison of ss-PCR with enzyme-linked immunosorbent and RIBA assays in the analysis of clinical samples showed a high concordance. ss-PCR methods appear more suitable for diagnostic application. Nevertheless, HCV RNA PCR cannot be considered a screening assay; it should be requested in the presence of reactive serology or specific clinical symptomatology with altered liver parameters, and it is a potential tool for the follow-up of patients with HCV infection

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1996
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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