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Determination of anti-HCV and quantification of HCV-RNA and IP-10 from dried blood spots sent by regular mail

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BACKGROUND: With the introduction of direct acting antivirals, treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in hard-to-reach populations is now feasible. Therefore, new cost-effective and reliable test methods are needed. Determination of HCV antibodies and HCV-RNA from dried blood spots samples could represent one such method. Here we examined whether anti-HCV could be detected-and HCV-RNA quantified-from dried blood spots, sent by regular mail. We also investigated, if IP-10 determined from dried blood spots correlated with fibrosis progression appraised by transient elastography.

METHOD: Forty chronic HCV infected patients were consecutively enrolled. At baseline and after six months, dried blood spots were prepared from blood collected by venous puncture, dried for 4-6 hours, then stored in gas-impermeable plastic bags with a desiccator, before being sent by regular mail. At each visit, approximately six months apart, paired venous samples was obtained and analyzed for anti-HCV, HCV-RNA and IP-10.

RESULTS: Anti-HCV was found in 66/67 of the dried blood spots. Sixty-six paired samples were available for HCV-RNA analysis. A statistically significant correlation was found between log HCV-RNA concentrations in plasma, and log HCV-RNA obtained from (P < 0.0001, Pearson's R 0.6788, R2 0.4607). HCV-RNA, derived from DBS samples, was lower than the corresponding plasma concentration, reflected by a Bland-Altman bias of 3 with SD of bias ± 0.6472. We found no correlation between IP-10 and fibrosis progression.

CONCLUSIONS: We identified anti-HCV in 66/67samples, and quantified IP-10 and HCV-RNA from dried blood spots, dried at room temperature and sent by regular mail. HCV-RNA concentrations from the dried blood spots were lower than corresponding plasma values; a probable result of heparin coated test tubes. We found no correlation between IP-10 and fibrosis progression. Overall, dried blood spots could be a cost-effective and easy-to-use alternative to standard tests for the diagnosis of HCV infections.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftPLoS One
Vol/bind13
Udgave nummer7
ISSN1932-6203
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 1 jul. 2018

ID: 54880296