Rainer Ziermann

Novartis, Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland

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Publications (4)13.27 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Clinical specificity, analytical and clinical sensitivities, reproducibility, and subtype/genotype coverage of the cobas TaqScreen MPX Test, a multiplex nucleic acid test with expanded coverage of HIV variants, were determined. A total of 72,281 blood donations were evaluated. The 95% limit of detection (LOD) for the MPX Test inclusive viruses was determined by testing six dilutions of WHO or Roche standards. Over 3000 high-risk and confirmed seropositive specimens were tested with the MPX and COBAS AmpliScreen Tests. Ten subtypes of HIV-1 Group M, HIV-1 Group O, HIV-2 A and B, HBV genotypes A-H, and HCV genotypes 1-6 were tested with the MPX Test. Reproducibility panels were evaluated at three testing sites across three lots. Clinical specificity in pools was 99.99%. There was one HBV yield case. The LODs for HIV-1 Group M, HCV, and HBV were 49, 11, and 3.8 IU/mL, respectively, and 89 and 59.3 copies/mL for HIV-1 Group O and HIV-2, respectively. Concordance between the MPX and the AmpliScreen Tests was 94.9%. Clinical sensitivity based on AmpliScreen comparison was 97.8-99.5%. All genotype/subtype replicates were detected at three times the LOD. Reproducibility was 98.3-100%. In conclusion, the MPX Test is robust and covers HIV-1 Group O and HIV-2.
    Journal of virological methods 02/2010; 165(2):246-53. · 2.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The PROCLEIX West Nile virus (WNV) assay is based on transcription-mediated amplification and is the most sensitive nucleic acid test commercially available today for blood screening. Since 2003, in the USA, the assay has been used for year-round screening of blood donations in minipools of 16 and in an individual-donation testing format, when appropriate triggering guidelines for such switch become effective. The test can be run on the semiautomated PROCLEIX modular platform or the fully-automated PROCLEIX TIGRIS System. This assay and the corresponding platforms have been developed and are manufactured by San Diego-based Gen-Probe, Inc., while they are marketed and distributed by Chiron, a Novartis business. This review covers some of the epidemiological and virological aspects of WNV, as well as clinical questions and technological assessment of the transcription-mediated amplification and alternative technologies used in WNV blood screening.
    Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics 06/2008; 8(3):239-45. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A multi-blood center study was conducted to evaluate a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) multiplex nucleic acid testing (NAT) donor screening test and to determine the residual risk for HIV-1 and HCV infection. A commercially available HIV-1 and HCV assay (Procleix, Chiron Corp.) was used for simultaneous detection of HIV-1 RNA and HCV RNA on 89,647 unlinked donor samples. NAT was performed with pools of 16 samples that had passed all routine screening tests. Single-donor NAT was performed for samples that had been disqualified by any reactive screening test result(s). Anti-HCV (Ortho third-generation HCV enzyme immunoassay [EIA]), alanine aminotransferase, and HCV NAT (Roche COBAS Amplicor HCV test) confirmatory tests were used for HCV EIA-nonreactive, HCV NAT-reactive samples. Three HCV NAT yield cases and no HIV-1 yield cases were detected. The yield rate for HCV NAT was 3.4 per 10(5) (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.7-9.8). The estimated incidence rate for HCV is 24.2 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI, 3.4-88.0). If minipool NAT is added to routine donor screening, the residual risk for HCV is estimated to be reduced to 1 in 20.4x10(4) (95% CI, 1 in 5.2x10(4)-1 in 165.5x10(4)). The residual risk for transfusion-transmitted HCV infection is still relatively high in China. Incorporating NAT technology into blood donor screening would be estimated to reduce the residual risk of HCV infections eightfold over current EIA screening.
    Transfusion 12/2007; 47(11):2011-6. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Screening of blood donors with nucleic acid testing (NAT) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been implemented recently in the United States. There are limited data, however, on the additional NAT yield of donors in developing countries in Asia where the prevalence of infection is higher. In addition, data on hepatitis B virus (HBV) NAT in high prevalence areas are minimal. A total of 5083 whole-blood donors at the Chiang Mai University Hospital, Thailand, blood bank were evaluated with a commercially available NAT assay (Procleix Ultrio, Gen-Probe, Inc.) to screen individual donations. No NAT yield cases were found for HIV-1 or HCV. There were 17 samples with discrepant HBV DNA NAT and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) tests, however. Seven of these were HBV DNA NAT-positive, HBsAg-negative; of these 7, 1 was NAT-positive at baseline, but negative on follow-up, and considered a false-positive, 1 had an acute infection, and 5 had chronic prevalent HBV infections, for a NAT yield of 6 in 4798 HBsAg negative donors (1:800). In addition there were 10 NAT-negative, HBsAg-positive serum samples. All were anti-hepatitis B core antigen immunoglobulin G-positive; on testing with a more sensitive NAT target capture assay, 5 were positive (1.8-20.6 IU/mL) and 5 were negative. Multiplex NAT screening of individual-donor serum samples in Northern Thailand detected approximately 1 per 800 HBV NAT-positive, HBsAg-negative donors. The especially high prevalence of HBV infection in Thailand and other Asian countries suggests that HBV NAT screening of donors will be more cost-effective than in other areas.
    Transfusion 11/2007; 47(10):1803-8. · 3.53 Impact Factor