Change in Hepatitis C genotyping at the NVRL

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The NVRL will replace its current HCV genotyping assay - the Siemens Versant HCV genotyping v2.0 (Lipa)- with the Abbott RealTime HCV GT-11 assay in July 2011.
The Abbott RealTime HCV GT-II is a CE marked automated real time RT-PCR assay designed to determine genotype in HCV infected individuals. The system distinguishes between genotypes 1-6 with an estimated sensitivity of 5001U/ml. The system offers a number of analytical and procedural advantages over the current assay resulting in an anticipated reduction in result turnaround time.
However, a minimum of 1ml plasma or serum, separated from whole blood and frozen within 6 hours, is required for the Abbott real-time assay. Therefore, centres wishing to determine both HCV viral load and HCV genotype are advised to collect and process two (2x1ml) separate blood samples from the patient in order to ensure sufficient volume for both tests.
If you have any queries about this new assay please contact me or a member of the NVRL clinical team on 01 716 1236/1240/1349/1359.