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Quantification of intrahepatic total HBV DNA in liver biopsies of HBV-infected patients by a modified version of COBAS® Ampliprep/COBAS®TaqMan HBV test v2.0


Intrahepatic total HBV DNA (it-HBV DNA) level might reflect the size of virus reservoir and correlate with the histological status of the liver. To quantitate it-HBV DNA in a series of 70 liver biopsies obtained from hepatitis B chronic patients, a modified version of the COBAS®Ampliprep/COBAS®TaqMan HBV test v2.0 was used for this purpose. The linearity and reproducibility of the modified protocol was tested by quantifying serial dilutions of a full-length HBV containing plasmid and it-HBV DNA from a reference patient. A good linear trend between the expected values and those generated by the assay was observed at different concentrations of both plasmid and reference patient (R 2 = 0.994 and 0.962, respectively). Differences between the values obtained in two independent runs were ≤0.3 log IU for the plasmid and ≤0.6 log IU/mg for the reference patient, showing a high inter-run reproducibility. In the 70 liver biopsies, it-HBV DNA level ranged from 1.4 to 5.4 log IU/mg, with a good linearity and reproducibility between the values obtained in two runs [R 2 = 0.981; median (IQR) difference of it-HBV DNA 0.05 (0.02–0.09) IU/mg]. The modified COBAS®Ampliprep/COBAS®TaqMan HBV test v2.0 allows an accurate quantitation of it-HBV DNA. Its determination may have prognostic value and may be a useful tool for the new therapeutic strategies aimed at eradicating the HBV infection.

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Correspondence to Marco Ciotti.

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Valentina Svicher and Marco Ciotti last joint last authorship.

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Salpini, R., Piermatteo, L., Gill, U. et al. Quantification of intrahepatic total HBV DNA in liver biopsies of HBV-infected patients by a modified version of COBAS® Ampliprep/COBAS®TaqMan HBV test v2.0. Med Microbiol Immunol 206, 295–299 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00430-017-0504-3

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  • COBAS® TaqMan HBV test, v2.0
  • Intrahepatic HBV DNA
  • HBV DNA level
  • HBV reservoir