For determining the genotype of Hepatitis C virus (total of 6 major types, and their most common subtypes) for patients with known infection.
5 mL of plain blood in serum separation tubes or EDTA-treated whole blood in sterile EDTA tube. Alternatively, 2 mL plasma or serum (separated from EDTA-treated or whole blood within 6 hours of collection by centrifugation at 800-1600g for 20 minutes at room temperature) in a sterile screw-capped polypropylene tube. Samples should be collected from patients positive for HCV RNA with a viral load of > 3,700 IU/ML.
Refrigerate sample until transfer to laboratory. Do not freeze (except for plasma or serum). Send sample at 2 - 8°C (with an ice-pack). Blood sample must reach the laboratory within 24 hours after collection for plain blood or 48 hours for EDTA blood (preferably within 6 hours for all samples). Serum or plasma can be stored at 2 - 8°C for up to 2 days or frozen at -70°C before despatch to the laboratory.
Polymerase chain reaction and reverse hybridization (Line Probe Assay from Siemens)
HCV Genotype 1(1A,1B), 2(2A,2B,2C), 3(A,B,C,K), 4(A,B,C,D,E,F,H), 5A and 6(A,B,C-L) identified.
2 - 15 days