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A quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction for detection of HBV covalently closed circular DNA in livers of the HBV infected patients



A quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction for detection of HBV covalently closed circular DNA in livers of the HBV infected patients



Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi 32(5): 504-509



To establish and optimize a sensitive and specific quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for detection of hepatitis B virus covalently closed circular DNA (HBV cccDNA) in liver tissue. Specific primers and probes were designed to detect HBV DNA (tDNA) and cccDNA. A series of plasmids (3.44 × 10(0) - 3.44 × 10(9) copies/µl) containing a full double-stranded copies of HBV genome (genotype C) were used to establish the standard curve of real-time PCR. Liver samples of 33 patients with HBV related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), 13 Chronic hepatitis B patients (CHB) and 10 non-HBV patients were collected to verify the sensitivity and specificity of the assay. A fraction of extracted DNA was digested with a Plasmid-Safe ATP-dependent Dnase (PSAD) for HBV cccDNA detection and the remaining was used for tDNA and β-globin detection. The amount (copies/cell) of HBV cccDNA and tDNA were measured by a real-time PCR, using β-globin housekeeping gene as a quantitation standard. The standard curves of real-time PCR with a linear range of 3.44 × 10(0) to 3.44 × 10(9) copies/µl were established for detecting HBV cccDNA and tDNA, and both of the lowest detection limits of HBV cccDNA and tDNA were 3.44 × 10(0) copies/µl. The lowest quantitation levels of HBV cccDNA in liver tissues tested in 33 HBV related HCC patients and 13 CHB patients were 0.003 copies/cell and 0.031 copies/cell, respectively. HBV cccDNA and tDNA in liver tissue of 10 non-HBV patient appeared to be negative. The true positive rate was increasing through the digestion of HBV DNA by PSAD, and the analytic specificity of cccDNA detection improved by 7.24 × 10(2) times. Liver tissues of 2 patients were retested 5 times in the PCR for detecting cccDNA and the coefficient of variations on cycle threshold (Ct) were between 0.224% - 0.609%. A highly sensitive and specific quantitative real time PCR method for the detection of HBV cccDNA in liver tissue was established and could be used for clinical and epidemiological studies.

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Accession: 051226042

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PMID: 21569737


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