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  • Author: J. Hass x
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Abstract

Infections with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are pandemic. The WHO estimates a worldwide prevalence of 3%. For monitoring of chronic hepatitis C, assays for direct virus detection are employed. In this study, an improved version of the Ortho® trak-C assay™ (Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Raritan, NJ) for detection of the HCV core antigen was evaluated. Precision, interassay, and intraassay variation were determined and a total of 115 clinical specimens were investigated. When precision of the Ortho® trak-C assay™ was evaluated, the assay gave positive results in those samples above the expected detection limit. Interassay coefficients of variation ranged between 6–25%, while intra-assay coefficients of variation were found to be between 19%. When clinical samples were tested with the Ortho trakC assay and compared with results obtained with the Cobas Ampli Prep/Cobas Amplicor HCV Monitor Test (Roche Molecular Systems, Inc., Branchburg, NJ), 66% of all positive values were found to be within a +-0.5 log difference of the level obtained with the molecular assay. In conclusion, the Ortho® trak-C™ assay showed a good test performance and proved to be suitable for the routine-diagnostic laboratory.

Abstract

Water transport in wood is vital for the survival of trees. With synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy (SRXTM), it has become possible to characterize and quantify the three-dimensional (3D) network formed by vessels that are responsible for longitudinal transport. In the present study, the spatial size dependence of vessels and the organization inside single growth rings in terms of vessel-induced porosity was studied by SRXTM. Network characteristics, such as connectivity, were deduced by digital image analysis from the processed tomographic data and related to known complex network topologies.