Performance comparison of the versant HCV genotype 2.0 assay (LiPA) and the abbott realtime HCV genotype II assay for detecting hepatitis C virus genotype 6

Ruifeng Yang, Xu Cong, Shaocai Du, Ran Fei, Huiying Rao, Lai Wei
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2014, 52 (10): 3685-92
The Versant HCV genotype 2.0 assay (line probe assay [LiPA] 2.0), based on reverse hybridization, and the Abbott Realtime HCV genotype II assay (Realtime II), based on genotype-specific real-time PCR, have been widely used to analyze hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes. However, their performances for detecting HCV genotype 6 infections have not been well studied. Here, we analyzed genotype 6 in 63 samples from the China HCV Genotyping Study that were originally identified as genotype 6 using the LiPA 2.0. The genotyping results were confirmed by nonstructural 5B (NS5B) or core sequence phylogenetic analysis. A total of 57 samples were confirmed to be genotype 6 (51 genotype 6a, 5 genotype 6n, and 1 genotype 6e). Four samples identified as a mixture of genotypes 6 and 4 by the LiPA 2.0 were confirmed to be genotype 3b. The remaining two samples classified as genotype 6 by the LiPA 2.0 were confirmed to be genotype 1b, which were intergenotypic recombinants and excluded from further comparison. In 57 genotype 6 samples detected using the Realtime II version 2.00 assay, 47 genotype 6a samples were identified as genotype 6, one 6e sample was misclassified as genotype 1, and four 6a and five 6n samples yielded indeterminate results. Nine nucleotide profiles in the 5' untranslated region affected the performances of both assays. Therefore, our analysis shows that both assays have limitations in identifying HCV genotype 6. The LiPA 2.0 cannot distinguish some 3b samples from genotype 6 samples. The Realtime II assay fails to identify some 6a and all non-6a subtypes, and it misclassifies genotype 6e as genotype 1.

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