Evaluation of dried blood spot as an alternative sample collection method for hepatitis C virus RNA quantitation and genotyping using a commercial system
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Dried blood spot (DBS) is a minimally invasive sampling method suitable for sample collection, storage and transportation in resource limited areas. Aim of this study was to compare the diagnostic utility of DBS with plasma sample for HCV RNA quantitation and genotyping using commercial systems. Plasma and DBS card spotted samples were collected from 95 HCV seropositive patients. Both types of samples were subjected to HCV RNA by real-time PCR (Abbott m2000rt, USA). Genotyping was performed using Abbott HCV genotype II kit (Abbott diagnostics, USA) in samples with viral load > 3 log10 IU/ml. In both plasma and DBS, 14 (14.7%) samples were negative and 81 (85.3%) were positive for HCV RNA. Median viral load in plasma (3.78; range 0–7.43) log10 IU/ml was comparable to DBS (3.93; range 0–7.24) log10 IU/ml. DBS demonstrated sensitivity and specificity of 97.5 and 85.7% respectively, with positive predictive value (PPV) of 97.5% and negative predictive value (NPV) of 85.7%. DBS showed good correlation (r2 = 0.866) and agreement (93.5%) with plasma. Genotyping in 20 patients showed 100% concordance between DBS and plasma samples. DBS showed good sensitivity and specificity as a sampling method for HCV RNA quantitation and genotyping.
KeywordsDried blood spot Plasma HCV RNA HCV genotyping
We would like to thank Abbott Diagnostics for providing the DBS cards for the performance of the tests. We would also like to give to special thanks to the technical support received from Dr. Hafeez Ahmad of Abbott Diagnostics, India for the conduct of this study.
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