Serologic tests for detection of delta hepatitis virus (HDV) antigen and antbody have recently been supplemented with a Northern blot hybridization assay for HDV RNA. However, this technique is cumbersome for analysis of multiple samples. In order to simplify detection of HDV RNA, the authors have tested a spot-hybridization method with a new HDV cDNA probe. Their method has proved to be rapid, sensitive, and specific for HDV RNA even when less ultracentrifugation was used for recovering serum RNA. Results for HDV RNA were concordant by both spot and Northern blot hybridization in 12 serum samples from patients with known delta hepatitis, whereas in seven cases spot-hybridization was superior in detecting liver HDV RNA. The concordance between HDV RNA by spot hybridization and delta antigen was complete, whereas that between delta IgM (44% overall) or IgG (67% overall) was less strong. The authors' observations indicate that this new technology perrmits detection of HDV RNA with relative ease and could be applicable to the evaluation of large numbers of cases with delta hepatitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine