Low-Cost Fluorescence Test Could Better Diagnose Hepatitis B

A team of scientists in China has developed a test that involves highly sensitive coamplification at lower denaturation temperature polymerase chain reaction (COLD-PCR) coupled with probe-based fluorescence melting curve analysis (FMCA) for precision diagnosis of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. The simplified, low-cost test may be used routinely in hospital laboratories.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection affects the liver and can be fatal, usually as a result of cirrhosis or liver cancer. The virus is typically spread through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. HBV can be prevented by vaccines that offer almost-total protection against HBV infection.

“Guidelines have confirmed that dynamic monitoring of HBV DNA, genotypes, and reverse transcriptase (RT) mutant DNA is of great importance to assess infection status, predict disease progression, and judge treatment efficacy in HBV-infected patients,” explains lead investigator Qishui Ou, Ph.D., of the Department of Laboratory Medicine, The First Affliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, the Gene Diagnostic Laboratory, Fujian Medical University, and the Fujian Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medicine (Fuzhou, China).

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