High viral loads are associated with decreased rates of response to interferon therapy,[1] and a decrease in the HCV load during the early phase of treatment (2-12 weeks) has been shown to predict effective treatment responses.[2]

Molecular techniques can be labor intensive and time consuming with in-house methods.[3] In this review, currently used assays for HCV virus load testing based either on target amplification [the HCV (Cobas) Amplicor Monitor 2.0 test (Roche Diagnostic Systems, Branchburg, NJ); the HCV Superquant (National Genetics Institute (NGI), Culver City, CA); nucleic acid sequence-based amplification; the NASBA-QT test (Organon Teknika, Boxtel, The Netherlands); and real-time detection polymerase chain reaction (RTD-PCR) test applying 5'-nuclease PCR/TaqMan PCR (Perkin Elmer Corp./Ap plied Biosystems, Foster City, CA; Cobas TaqMan HCV Test, Roche Diagnostic Systems)], or on signal amplification [branched DNA (bDNA) assays; the VERSANT HCV RNA 3.0 assay (Bayer Diagnostics, Berkeley, CA)], or on immunological detection of free HCV core antigen [the trak-C test (Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Inc., Raritan, NJ)] are presented (Table 1).

General Considerations

Six key performance characteristics of quantitative analytical assays can have important effects on the result, use, and interpretation of these assays: linearity, accuracy, precision, tolerance limit, sensitivity, and specificity.[4]

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Getting Started With Dumbbells

Getting Started With Dumbbells

The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.

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