RESEARCH ARTICLE


Introduction of an Automated System for the Diagnosis and Quantification of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Viruses



MT Cabezas-Fernandez*, MI Cabeza-Barrera
APES Hospital Poniente, Spain


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Cabezas-Fernandez and Cabeza-Barrera; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the APES Hospital Poniente, Spain; Tel: 950022638; Fax: 950022601; E-mails: tcabezasf@yahoo.es, cbmisa@yahoo.es


Abstract

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections pose major public health problems because of their prevalence worldwide. Consequently, screening for these infections is an important part of routine laboratory activity. Serological and molecular markers are key elements in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment monitoring for HBV and HCV infections. Today, automated chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) analyzers are widely used for virological diagnosis, particularly in high-volume clinical laboratories. Molecular biology techniques are routinely used to detect and quantify viral genomes as well as to analyze their sequence; in order to determine their genotype and detect resistance to antiviral drugs. Real-time PCR, which provides high sensitivity and a broad dynamic range, has gradually replaced other signal and target amplification technologies for the quantification and detection of nucleic acid. The next-generation DNA sequencing techniques are still restricted to research laboratories.

The serological and molecular marker methods available for HBV and HCV are discussed in this article, along with their utility and limitations for use in Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) diagnosis and monitoring.

Keywords: DNA-HBV, Real-time, genotyping, RNA-HCV, TMA, serological markers..