Quantification of Serum Hepatitis B Virus DNA

Stephen K.N. HO and Tak-mao CHAN

Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in an important cause of acute and chronic viral hepatitis. Worldwide there are more than 300 million chronic carriers of HBV, with 100 million carriers in China. In addition to serology markers and liver enzymes, the detection and quantification of HBV DNA in serum appear to be the most reliable methods for monitoring HBV infection and assessing responses to antiviral treatment. This review will discuss the methodology, sensitivity, technical aspects, turn-around time and the clinical applications of the different HBV DNA assays.

Key words: HBV DNA. Quantitative PCR. Real-time PCR.

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