Low cost detection of hepatitis C virus RNA in HCV infected patients by SYBR Green I real-time PCR
The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is highest in Egypt compared to other countries. Nucleic acid amplification test (NAT) allows detection of HCV early during the course of infection. Unfortunately, NAT is more expensive than ELISA, thus its routine use as a screening tool for blood products or in clinical practice is quite limited. The aim of this study was to compare two common RT-PCR methods, TaqMan probe technique and SYBR Green method in quantitative detection of HCV RNA for diagnosis and follow up of HCV patients. Among the recruited 220 HCV patients, 154 (70%) were HCV-RNA positive by both the techniques, while 24 (10.9%) were negative by both techniques. On the other hand, 40 (18.2%) cases were HCV RNA positive only by SYBR Green technique, and 2 (0.9%) only by TaqMan probe technique. Forty (20.4%) of the 196 chronic HCV cases were HCV-RNA positive by SYBR Green but negative by TaqMan probe technique.
Conclusion: This method is useful for rapid qualitative detection of HCV infection and particularly suitable for routine diagnostic applications.
Keywords: HCV, PCR, SYBR Green 1, TaqMan probe, Viral load