Introduction of an Automated System for the Diagnosis and Quantification of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Viruses
The treatment schedule (combination of compounds, doses, and duration) and the virological follow-up for management of antiviral treatment in patients chronically infected by HCV is now well standardized, but to ensure good monitoring of the treated patients, physicians need rapid, reproducible, and sensitive molecular virological tools with a wide range of detection and quantification of HCV RNA in blood samples. Several assays for detection and/or quantification of HCV RNA are currently commercially available. Here, all these assays are detailed, and a brief description of each step of the assay is provided. They are divided into two categories by method: those based on signal amplification and those based on target amplification. These two categories are then divided into qualitative, quantitative, and quantitative detection assays. The real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based assays are the most promising strategy in the HCV virological area.