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

Gastroenterology. 1999 Mar;116(3):636-42. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5085(99)70185-x.


Background & aims: 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.

Methods: 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).

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / virology
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / genetics*
  • Hepacivirus / isolation & purification
  • Hepatitis C / diagnosis*
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies / blood
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / virology
  • Liver Neoplasms / virology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / instrumentation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • RNA, Viral / blood*
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • RNA, Viral