Background The cobas® TaqScreen MPX Test, version 2.0, a multiplex, multi-dye nucleic acid amplification technology (NAT) test from Roche was evaluated by two European Blood Banks, the German Red Cross Blood Donor Service, Frankfurt, Germany and Centro de Hemoterapia y Hemodonación de Castilla y León, Valladolid, Spain. In addition, the cobas® TaqScreen DPX Test was evaluated for the simultaneous detection and quantitation of parvovirus B19 and the detection of hepatitis A virus (HAV).
Study Design and Methods The performances of the two tests were evaluated regarding the analytical sensitivity, the reproducibility of the tests using samples containing low concentrations of each virus and cross-contamination using samples containing high titres of virus.
Results The analytical sensitivity of the MPX Test, version 2.0, obtained by the German Red Cross Blood Donor Service was 1·1, 3·9 and 43·3 IU/ml for HBV, HCV and HIV-1, respectively. The comparable analytical sensitivity at Centro de Hemoterapia y Hemodonación de Castilla y León was 3·5, 17·6 and 50·6 IU/ml for HBV, HCV and HIV-1, respectively. The analytical sensitivity of the DPX test determined by the German Red Cross Blood Donor Service was 0·6 and 3·8 IU/ml for HAV and B19.
Conclusion These multiplex and multi-dye blood screening assays represent a flexible NAT screening system for mini-pools between 6 and 96 samples per pool and fulfil all requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia for HCV and B19V testing of plasma for fractionation. The inclusion of a new multi-dye technology means discriminatory assays are no longer required for either test thus improving workflow, turn-around time and minimize the risk of obtaining a reactive result for which the virus cannot be identified.