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Hepatitis C viral load
Short Description : Hepatitis C PCR
Also known as : [Hepatitis C PCR]

Test performed by: LabPLUS VIM Molecular Diagnostics

A dedicated specimen (i.e. no other tests to be performed) is required for this assay.

Specimens from the following clinical areas/situations will be accepted:

  • Gastroenterology

  • Liver units

  • Infectious diseases

  • Sexual Health

  • Confirmation of HCV infection in a patient with reactive HCV serology (HCV Ab+)

  • Confirmation of chronic HCV following acute HCV infection

  • Confirmation of cure 12 weeks post completion of MAVIRET (glecaprevir/pibrentasvir) treatment

  • Confirmation of HCV reinfection in a patient with previous HCV that was treated/cleared and a new high risk event (i.e. where HCV serology cannot differentiate previous infection from reinfection)

  • Bone marrow transplant (BMT) donor screening

  • Healthcare worker post blood and bodily fluid accident (BBFA) from a donor with known HCV

  • Requests for immigration purposes

  • Other clinical details which justify HCV Viral Load testing

Quantitative testing for HCV RNA in plasma  (HCV Viral Load)
(Note: Qualitative testing for HCV RNA will be performed using the quantitative - Viral Load technology).

A dedicated specimen (i.e. no other tests to be performed) is required for this assay.

Also performed on fresh liver biopsy

Do not use heparin tubes

Viral load results may be adversely affected by delay in transport.

Specimen Collection

All micro collects MUST be EDTA.

Micro-EDTA2 mL Paediatric Micro-EDTA Blood (Always Required)

4 full microcollect EDTA tubes required.

Must be full containers or there will be insufficient sample to assay

PPT5 mL PPT Blood (Preferred)

Do not freeze unseparated PPT tubes . If the specimen requires freezing, the supernatant must be removed from the gel first.

Require a dedicated PPT tube specimen (no other tests requested).

Centrifuge PPT tube within 6 hours of collection.

Transport at 2 - 8 degrees C if transport time from collection is less than 5 days.

Specimens need to be separated and frozen after 5 days. Unseparated specimens are unsuitable for analysis after this time.


Plain4 mL Plain Blood
SST8.5 mL SST Blood

Absolute minimum volume required is 3.5 mL

Turnaround Time:

Tests performed approximately twice weekly. Results available within a week.

Assay Method

Testing is performed using the Roche cobas 6800 HCV test. 

Either 650uL or 350uL of specimen can be used for testing. Limit of detection for this assay is 15 - 1.0E+08 (log 1.18-8.0) HCV DNA IU/mL when 650uL and 40-1.00 +E08 (log 1.6-8.0) HCV RNA IU/mL when 350uL of specimen are used .

Note: Results are expressed as the number of HCV RNA IU/mL and the logarithm of the number of HCV RNA IU/mL. 





HCV Genotyping

Contact Information

For further information contact the laboratory  (contact via Lablink: 22000 or (09) 307-8995 or 0800 522 7587) ,or:
the Virology team virology@adhb.govt.nz


Specimen Transport Instructions for Referring Laboratories

Test performed by: LabPLUS VIM Molecular Diagnostics

Breast Milk

Must first be discussed with Clinical Virologist

Specimen Collection
Sterile Container20 mL Sterile Container (Always Required)

Last updated at 15:25:23 17/09/2021