Accuracy of a commercially available assay for HCV genotyping and subtyping in the clinical practice

Victoria González, Meissiner Gomes-Fernandes, Elisabet Bascuñana, Sònia Casanovas, Verónica Saludes, Elena Jordana-Lluch, Lurdes Matas, Vicenç Ausina, Elisa Martró

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotyping is mandatory for tailoring dose and duration of pegylated interferon-α plus ribavirin treatment and for deciding on triple therapy eligibility. Additionally, subtyping may play a role in helping to select future treatment regimens that include directly-acting antivirals. However, commercial assays for HCV genotyping fail to identify the genotype/subtype in some cases. Objective: Our aims were (i) to determine the success rate of the commercial genotyping assay Abbott RealTime HCV Genotype II at identifying the genotype and the HCV-1 subtype; and (ii) to phylogenetically characterise the obtained indeterminate results. Study design: HCV genotyping results obtained between 2009 and 2012 in a Spanish reference hospital were reviewed. A total of 896 people were genotyped with the Abbott RealTime HCV Genotype II assay. Specimens with an indeterminate result were retrospectively genotyped using the reference method based on the phylogenetic analysis of HCV NS5B sequences. Results: Using the commercially available assay, an indeterminate HCV genotype result was obtained in 20 of 896 patients (2.2%); these corresponded to genotypes 3a, 3k and 4d. Importantly, 8.6% of all cases where genotype 3 was detected were indeterminate. In addition, the HCV-1 subtype was not assigned in 29 of 533 cases (5.4%). Conclusions: The implementation in the clinical microbiology laboratory of the reference method for HCV genotyping allows indeterminate genotype/subtype results to be interpreted and may lead to the identification of previously uncharacterised subtypes. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-253
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013


  • Genotyping
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Real-time PCR
  • Subtyping


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