Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major public health problem and a leading cause of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Worldwide, there are about 350 million carriers of this pathogen and India bears the second highest carrier pool in the world. Early diagnosis and measurement of viral load in hepatitis B patients is very helpful for the better management of this disease. The existing methods for viral quantification are either cumbersome or expensive. Since viral replication correlate well with HBV DNA levels a new sensitive, reliable and cost effective competitive PCR assay has been developed for quantifying the viral load in the serum of hepatitis B patients. The S gene based cPCR assay was able to detect as low as 100 genome equivalent/ml of HBV DNA from human serum and was applied to determine viral load among inactive and chronic hepatitis B carriers demonstrating the usefulness of the developed test.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2005
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