Hepatitis C virus genotyping of organ donor samples to aid in transplantation of HCV-positive organs

Caren Gentile, Vivianna M. Van Deerlin, David S. Goldberg, Peter P. Reese, Richard D. Hasz, Peter Abt, Emily Blumberg, Midhat S. Farooqi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Given the availability of new highly efficacious anti-HCV therapies, some clinicians have advocated for wider use of kidneys from hepatitis C virus-positive (HCV+) donors, including transplanting them into HCV-negative recipients. As treatment regimens for HCV are commonly guided by genotype, pretransplant HCV genotyping of tissue donors would be beneficial. To our knowledge, donor HCV genotyping has never been reported. We retrieved archived frozen plasma samples for 17 previous organ donors through a local organ procurement organization. We performed HCV genotyping using the eSensor HCVg Direct Test (GenMark Diagnostics) and also by Sanger sequencing, for confirmation (Retrogen). In addition, viral loads were measured using the COBAS AmpliPrep/TaqMan system (Roche Diagnostics). We found that most of the samples (n = 14) were HCV Genotype 1a with the remainder being Genotype 2b (n = 1) or Genotype 3 (n = 2). All genotyping results were concordant with Sanger sequencing. The average HCV viral load in the sample group was ~ 1.6 million IU/mL (range: ~16 000 IU/mL to 7 million IU/mL). We demonstrate that viral RNA from organ donor plasma can be successfully genotyped for HCV. This ability suggests that transplantation of HCV+ kidneys into HCV-negative recipients, followed by genotype-guided antiviral therapy, could be feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13172
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • genotyping
  • hepatitis C
  • kidney transplantation
  • tissue donors
  • viral load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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