alexa High-resolution melting and real-time PCR for quantification and detection of drug-resistant HBV mutants in a single amplicon.


Research & Reviews: Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

Author(s): Hsiao CC

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BACKGROUND: Antiviral therapy by nucleoside/nucleotide analogues (NAs) effectively reduces HBV replication in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. Because long-term NA treatments will eventually select for drug-resistant mutants, early detection of mutants and frequent monitoring of viral loads is crucial for successful NA therapy. Because no efficient test for one-tube quantification and qualification of various HBV-resistant mutants exists, we propose to use high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis in combination with real-time PCR to achieve this unmet need. METHODS: We developed a single amplicon for detecting HBV mutants resistant to lamivudine (LMV), adefovir (ADV) and entecavir (ETV), which are commonly used for CHB treatment. Our design consists of two steps: real-time PCR for viral quantification, and hybridization probe HRM analysis for detection of specific drug-resistant mutants. RESULTS: Assay quantification was accurate (R=0.98) for viral loads from 10(3) to 10(9) copies/ml. HRM analysis produced distinct melting temperatures that clearly distinguished the mutants, rtM204V/I (LMV), rtA181V and rtN236T (ADV), and rtT184G and rtM250V (ETV), from their respective wild types. The assay detected mutants at only 10-25% of the HBV population. The clinical applicability of this assay was tested in a pilot study with serial samples from patients receiving LMV treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Flexibility, speed and cost-efficiency are additional benefits unique to our assay. The clinical sample results further support the feasibility of applying our design to frequent and long-term monitoring of CHB patients receiving NA treatments in the clinical setting.

This article was published in Antivir Ther. and referenced in Research & Reviews: Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

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