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Dx Focus Mar 24, 2011: Clinical and Regulatory PCR and Nucleic Acid Testing News

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Qiagen last week announced that its second-generation hepatitis C real-time PCR test, the careHCV RT-PCR kit v2, has received approval from the State Food and Drug Administration of China for HCV detection and viral load analysis.

The test is based on Qiagen's sample and molecular assay technologies and manufactured by the company's Shenzhen subsidiary.

Qiagen said that the careHCV RT-PCR Kit v2 offers several advantages over existing testing and monitoring technologies, including an internal control for result validation and detection of all key HCV subtypes.

In addition, Qiagen said that it is the first locally manufactured PCR test that can be used in conjunction with automated sample technology products, such as Qiagen's QIAcube.


Abbott this week announced that it has received the CE Mark for RealTime HIV-1, a new qualitative PCR-based HIV-1 test for dried blood spot and plasma specimens.

The new assay is performed on Abbott's automated, high-throughput m2000 system, and detects both DNA and RNA from HIV-1. Abbott said that DBS samples are more convenient for testing infants because only a small volume of sample is needed and the sample remains stable under various environmental conditions.

The assay will be available for diagnostic laboratories and supplied to non-governmental organizations and health agencies collaborating with the Ministries of Health in countries most affected by the HIV-1 epidemic, Abbott said.


Asuragen this week said that it has received the CE Mark for its AmplideX FMR1 PCR kit for detecting CGG repeats in the fragile X mental retardation gene; and has commercially launched the test in Europe.

The AmplideX FMR1 PCR Kit is used as an aid in diagnosing fragile X syndrome and associated disorders, such as fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency and fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome.

The kit provides a high-throughput PCR and capillary electrophoresis analysis workflow that can accurately resolve sample zygosity and reproducibly detect the full range of full mutation alleles in a single reaction. These assay capabilities reduce the need for Southern blot testing to 2 percent or less of all samples, the company said.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.