The HLA-B*57:01 allele is strongly associated with the hypersensitivity reaction to Abacavir (ABC). Therefore, treatment guidelines recommend that patients initiating ABC are preventively tested for the presence of this allele. To date, four different commercial assays based on the real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) technique are available for the detection of HLA-B*57:01: Duplicα-RealTime Reagent Set HLA-B*57:01 by Euroclone, HLA-B*57:01 Real-TM by Sacace Biotechnologies, COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HLA-B*57:01 Screening Test by Roche Diagnostic, and HLA-B*57:01 by Nuclear Laser Medicine. The study was carried out to compare the performance of the first three commercially available Q-PCR kits in a routine clinical setting. A total of 98 samples from Policlinico Umberto I Hospital were tested. Results obtained by the Duplicα-RealTime Genotyping kit and AmpliPrep/TaqMan system were 100% concordant. In contrast, genotyping by the HLA-B*57:01 Real-TM kit showed poor agreement with the other systems, that is, 12 out of 33 positive samples were detected as HLA-B*57:01 negative. To confirm the correct genotype of these discordant samples, two additional methods with rapid turnaround times and already implemented into routine clinical practice were used, that is, a PCR-based microsequence-specific primer DNA typing test and a laboratory-developed screening test in Q-PCR. All 12 discordant samples were genotyped as HLA-B*57:01-positive samples using these two additional methods in a single-blinded manner, thus confirming the low sensitivity of HLA-B*57:01 Real-TM test. These findings underline the need to compare results obtained with commercial assays before choosing a test suitable for use in a routine clinical laboratory.
- Abacavir hypersensitivity
- Pharmacogenetic Screening Test
- Real-Time PCR