Improved COBAS TaqMan hepatitis C virus test (Version 2.0) for use with the High Pure system: enhanced genotype inclusivity and performance characteristics in a multisite study. Academic Article uri icon


  • We have evaluated the COBAS TaqMan hepatitis C virus (HCV) test (version 2.0) for use with the High Pure system (HCVHPS V2), a new, revised real-time reverse transcription-PCR assay developed to improve the genotype quantitation of version 1.0 (HCVHPS V1). Revisions were made in the wash buffer and in the reverse transcription temperature. The genotype inclusivity of HCVHPS V2 was evaluated at three different sites, using HCVHPS V2, HCVHPS V1, and the COBAS AMPLICOR HCV MONITOR test (version 2.0) (CAHCM). The fully automated COBAS Ampliprep/COBAS TaqMan HCV test was also used in one of the participating laboratories. The mean differences in HCV RNA values between HCVHPS V2 and CAHCM and between HCVHPS V2 and HCVHPS V1 ranged from -0.21 to 0.13 log and from 0.24 to 1.27 log, respectively, with >0.5-log differences for genotypes 2, 3, 4, and 5. With a NIBSC panel of HCV genotypes 1 through 6, the measured HCVHPS V2 values were within 0.25 log of the nominal values for all 6 genotypes. When serial dilutions of genotype-specific clinical HCV specimens were tested, the assay showed a limit of detection between 10 and 20 IU/ml and a linear range of 25 IU/ml to 3.91 x 10(8) IU/ml. Clinical and analytical specificities of 100% were demonstrated with 100 HCV-seronegative specimens as well as with 12 non-HCV members of Flaviviridae and 22 additional microorganisms. These data indicate that HCVHPS V2 is a robust and accurate test for the quantitation of all six HCV genotypes and useful in monitoring viral load in all clinical HCV specimens.

publication date

  • November 2007