Background: Hepatitis C virus infection is now one of the most important causes of chronic liver disease. HCV genotype has emerged as an important factor both in predicting a sustained response to, and in determining the duration of, antiviral therapy. Microarrays provide excellent tools for rapid genotyping of hepatitis C virus due to their ability to perform a multitude of tests simultaneously. Methods: A colorimetric oligonucleotide array that specially and rapidly detects the genotype/subtypes of hepatitis C virus was designed and developed. Results: A total of 256 consecutive HCV RNA positive samples derived from patients with chronic hepatitis C were examined for their genotypes/subtypes by the oligonucleotide array. Identification of genotypes and subtypes by the HCV oligonucleotide array showed a concordance rate of 99.2% with nucleotide sequencing results. Conclusion: The oligonucleotide array offers an economical and convenient alternative to detect HCV infection, as well as permitting identification of the genotype/subtypes, in a large-scale setting. Oligonucleotide arrays provide a reliable and sensitive method for the detection and discrimination of HCV genotypes common in China, and are suitable for routine use in a diagnostic laboratory. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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