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Evaluation of 10 commercial diagnostic kits for in vitro expressed hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface antigens encoded by HBV of genotypes A to H

Evaluation of 10 commercial diagnostic kits for in vitro expressed hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface antigens encoded by HBV of genotypes A to H

Journal of Virological Methods 136(1-2): 254-256

Genetic variability of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) constitutes one of the major challenges for diagnosis of HBV infection. It is plausible that amino acid substitutions in the "a" determinant of the HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) that affect antigenic sites, whether originating from genetic diversity or from mutations in the HBV strain itself, will affect the sensitivity of some diagnostic kits. In fact, recent studies have indicated that some diagnostic kits had false negative results with particular HBsAg mutants. There have been, however, few substantial studies evaluating sensitivities of diagnostic kits to the HBsAg encoded by different HBV genotypes. Our recent study found that 10 diagnostic kits available in Japan were able to detect HBsAg irrespective of whether it originated from HBV genotypes A, B or C, with the latter two genotypes being the dominant species in East Asia. In this study, we extended our previous efforts by assessing the ability of diagnostic kits to detect recombinant HBsAg derived from HBV genotypes A to H. Our results demonstrated that 9 out of 10 diagnostic kits evaluated were able to detect as low as 0.2 International Units (IU)/ml HBsAg, irrespective of HBV genotype. The genotypic differences in the HBV family thus appear to have little impact on the sensitivity of currently available HBsAg diagnostic kits.

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Accession: 012786959

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PMID: 16707169

DOI: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2006.03.022

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