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Viruses 2017, 9(6), 139;

Detection of HBV Covalently Closed Circular DNA

State Key Laboratory of Molecular Vaccinology and Molecular Diagnostics, School of Public Health, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
National Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jens H. Kuhn
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection affects approximately 240 million people worldwide and remains a serious public health concern because its complete cure is impossible with current treatments. Covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) in the nucleus of infected cells cannot be eliminated by present therapeutics and may result in persistence and relapse. Drug development targeting cccDNA formation and maintenance is hindered by the lack of efficient cccDNA models and reliable cccDNA detection methods. Southern blotting is regarded as the gold standard for quantitative cccDNA detection, but it is complicated and not suitable for high-throughput drug screening, so more sensitive and simple methods, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods, Invader assays, in situ hybridization and surrogates, have been developed for cccDNA detection. However, most methods are not reliable enough, and there are no unified standards for these approaches. This review will summarize available methods for cccDNA detection. It is hoped that more robust methods for cccDNA monitoring will be developed and that standard operation procedures for routine cccDNA detection in scientific research and clinical monitoring will be established. View Full-Text
Keywords: detection; hepatitis B virus; cccDNA detection; hepatitis B virus; cccDNA

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Li, X.; Zhao, J.; Yuan, Q.; Xia, N. Detection of HBV Covalently Closed Circular DNA. Viruses 2017, 9, 139.

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