HCV Testing in Molecular Pathology

Beginning on Monday of next week, September 6, 2004, the Molecular Pathology Laboratory will implement a real-time PCR method for detecting and quantitating Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in blood.  This assay has a limit sensitivity of detection of ca. 20 virus particles per cc of blood.  It is linear up to 200 million virus particles per cc.  This assay will replace our existing qualitative and quantitative HCV assays.  Specimens received by noon on Thursdays, will have results reported on the following day.  We have also upgraded our HCV genotyping assay to a real-time PCR platform.  The new assay will be performed once weekly on Wednesday morning with provision of results by Wednesday afternoon.  This assay distinguishes HCV genotypes 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3, 4, 5 and 6.  The specimen of choice for both assays is a 5 ml white-topped tube of blood (EDTA plasma separator tube).

If you have any questions regarding HCV testing in Molecular Pathology, please do not hesitate to contact Gary V. Doern, Ph.D. (6-8616), Beth Alden, BA, MT(ASCP) (4-9870), or Jon Heusel, M.D., Ph.D. (5-8217).