Recipient(s) will receive an email with a link to 'Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) RNA, Quantitative Viral Load: Molecular Assay' and will have access to the topic for 7 days.
Subject: Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) RNA, Quantitative Viral Load: Molecular Assay
(Optional message may have a maximum of 1000 characters.)
The HCV viral load assay quantifies HCV RNA in the plasma of HCV-infected individuals. The HCV test is standardized against the first WHO International Standard for HCV RNA for nucleic acid amplification technology assays (NIBSC code 96/790).
Normal range: Not detected when the result is below the level of detection of the assay.
Branched DNA assay (bDNA; Siemens): A signal amplification technology that detects the presence of specific nucleic acids by measuring the signal generated by branched, labeled DNA probes; a reliable method that provides consistent results in the higher range of the assay.
Real-time PCR: Reverse transcription followed by amplification and quantification of the targeted DNA molecule; generally offers both a wider range of quantification and a lower limit of detection than the bDNA method.
Used in the management of HCV-infected individuals undergoing antiviral therapy.
PCR inhibitors in the specimen may lead to underestimation of viral quantitation or false-negative results in rare cases. However, current technologies include internal controls which if not amplified during the PCR, will not give a result rather than a false-negative result.