Hepatitis C – Genotyping/Subtyping

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

HCV Genotyping1


1.5 ml

Blood clotted- vacutainer tubes (SST)

HCV Genotyping1


1.5 ml

EDTA (lavender top)

Submission and Collection Notes


Must be ordered in conjunction with HCV RNA viral load. Refer to the test information sheet for HCV RNA viral load.

Timing of Specimen Collection

NB: serum or plasma must be removed from the clot within 6 hours of collection and shipped frozen.


Haemolysed, icteric, lipemic or microbially contaminated serum or plasma are not recommended for testing.

Alternately, whole blood submitted must be received at your local Public Health Ontario Laboratory within 6 hours of collection of the blood.

Preparation Prior to Transport

Centrifuge if using SST. Serum or plasma must be removed from the clot within 6 hours of collection. Place specimen in a biohazard bag and seal. Specimens should be stored frozen and shipped to PHOL on ice packs or dry ice.

Upon separation plasma/serum may be stored in secondary tubes for up to 3 days at 2°C to 8°C or at -70°C or colder for longer term.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Hepatitis C genotyping testing is performed daily. 

Turnaround time is up to 10 days from receipt by PHO laboratory.


Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

Test Methods

Hepatitis C genotyping/subtyping specimens are tested using the Abbott RealTime HCV Genotype II assay system.  It is an in vitro reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for determining HCV genotype(s) 1,2,3,4,5,6  and subtypes 1a and 1b.

Hepatitis C specimens must have a detectable Viral Load of ≥ 500 IU/mL for the Genotype/subtype test to be performed.

The first pre-treatment (i.e. baseline) sample submitted for HCV RNA is automatically used to perform HCV genotyping.

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Updated 20 July 2020