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New test for chronic hepatitis B

A new laboratory tool may improve the diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. 

The technique can simultaneously assess several indicators important for optimal patient management, according to a new report in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

A team of scientists has developed a highly sensitive coamplification at lower denaturation temperature PCR (COLD-PCR) coupled with probe-based fluorescence melting curve analysis (FMCA) for precision diagnosis of chronic hepatitis B patients. 

This novel tool is simple, stable, convenient, practical, inexpensive, and may be used routinely in the average hospital laboratory.

Lead investigator Qishui Ou said: “Guidelines have confirmed that dynamic monitoring of HBV DNA, genotypes, and reverse transcriptase mutant DNA is of great importance to assess infection status, predict disease progression, and judge treatment efficacy in HBV-infected patients. 

“We believe COLD-PCR/FMCA provides a powerful laboratory tool for precise diagnosis and treatment of HBV-infected patients.”

Although a number of molecular methods have been developed, many are limited by poor sensitivity or inability to detect more than one mutation at a time.

 

Image credit | Shutterstock

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