Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) RNA is a novel marker reflecting the activity of covalently closed circular DNA. However, the methodology for detecting HBV RNA has been a technical challenge. In this study, the performance of reverse transcription droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (RT-ddPCR) for quantifying HBV RNA was compared with that of reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) in serum samples collected from treatment-naïve patients with different phases of chronic hepatitis B (CHB). A total of 417 serum samples, including 136 HBeAg-positive CHB and 281 HBeAg-negative CHB were examined. HBV RNA levels measured by RT-ddPCR and RT-qPCR showed a high degree of linearity and quantitative correlation. The limit of detections of RT-ddPCR and RT-qPCR assays were 102 and 103 copies/mL, respectively. Our results also demonstrated that RT-ddPCR was superior to RT-qPCR in terms of its consistency for quantifying HBV RNA across all concentrations. In the HBeAg-positive group, serum HBV RNA levels based on RT-ddPCR were moderately correlated with HBV DNA (r = 0.591, P 

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of medical virology

Publication Date



Center of Excellence in Hepatitis and Liver Cancer, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.