Evaluation of a novel serotyping system for hepatitis C virus: Strong correlation with standard genotyping methodologies

V. Dixit, S. Quan, P. Martin, D. Larson, M. Brezina, R. DiNello, K. Sra, J. Y.N. Lau, D. Chien, J. Kolberg, A. Tagger, G. Davis, A. Polito, G. Gitnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Direct sequencing and analysis of viral genomes are definitive methods for identifying various hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes. However, HCV genome sequencing methods are cumbersome and unsuitable for analyzing large numbers of clinical samples. We have developed a convenient, reliable, and reproducible RIBA strip immunoblot assay system for determining HCV serotype. Briefly, the assay consists of an immunoblot strip on which there are five lanes of immobilized serotype-specific HCV peptides from the nonstructural (NS-4) and core regions of the genomes of HCV types 1, 2, and 3. HCV serotype is deduced by determining the greatest intensity of reactivity to the NS-4 serotype-specific HCV peptide band in relation to the intensity of the human immunoglobulin G internal control bands on each strip. HCV core peptide reactivity is used only in the absence of NS-4 reactivity. We used this assay to successfully serotype a high percentage of sera from well-documented HCV- infected patients. Our serotyping results correlated 99% with the findings from the standard restriction fragment length polymorphism genotyping methods. Less than 5% of the serum samples were untypeable. For a selected group of alpha interferon-treated patients we observed that the nonresponders (76.2%) and a majority of the responders who relapsed (72.2%) had type 1 HCV infection. A small population (n = 8) of complete responders was split 3:4:1 as type 1, type 2, and type 3, respectively. Our data indicate that this new serotyping assay has the potential to be a highly specific and reliable method for typing of HCV infection in patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2978-2983
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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