Detection of hepatitis C virus subtypes 6a, 6n, 6w and mixed infections using a modified multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction protocol

Yuan Ming Lee, Yen Ju Chen, Cheng Ming Lee, Lou Hui Kuo, Wing Wai Wong, Yi Ming Arthur Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Purpose: In the past few years, many new subtypes in hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 6 have been identified. The aim of this study was to modify the multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) protocol and use it to determine the HCV subtypes of a group of Taiwanese injection drug users (IDUs). Methods: We used 76 serum specimens collected in northern Taiwan in 2008. Multiplex RT-PCR was used for HCV subtyping among those serum samples having anti-HCV antibodies. Twenty cases were randomly selected for comparison with subtyping results from Inno-LiPa II tests and phylogenetic tree analysis using NS5B sequences. Results: Multiplex RT-PCR assays showed that 60.5% (46/76) of IDUs had single HCV infection. Three out of 76 (3.9%) had double HCV infection (1b/6a, 2a/2b and 2b/6a). Besides this, 27.6% (21/76) had no HCV signal. One IDU had subtype 6n and two had subtype 6w infection. Inno-LiPa II tests misclassified all 6n and 6w cases as 1b subtype. Conclusion: Our modified multiplex RT-PCR protocol can be used to support molecular epidemiological studies and laboratory diagnoses of different HCV subtypes including genotype 6.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-767
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Genotype 6
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
  • Injection drug users
  • Inno-LiPa II test
  • Multiplex RT-PCR
  • Subtype 6n
  • Subtype 6w

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this