Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) prevalence in Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) cases is controversial. The detection and quantification of MCPyV DNA is mainly performed by PCR techniques using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. The aim of this study is to compare the performance of two different molecular techniques, specifically the quantitative Real-Time PCR (qPCR) and digital PCR (dPCR). Samples from 31 cases of MCC excisional surgical biopsies were analyzed. DNA extraction and purification from clinical samples were performed using the QIAcube Qiagen automated nucleic acid extractor. After the extraction, MCPyV was detected by qPCR and dPCR using specially designed primers and probes. Of the 31 MCC samples under study, the MCPyV genome was detected in 11 samples (35%) by qPCR compared with 20 samples (65%) detected by dPCR. Notably, 65% of primary tumors were positive for MCPyV (15/23). The viral genome was detected in 75% of tumors located at UV-exposed sites (6/8), 55% of tumors at partially UV-protected sites (5/9), and 67% of tumors at UV-protected sites (4/6). Our results showed a better sensitivity of dPCR in detecting the MCPyV genome in MCC samples compared with traditional qPCR techniques.

Comparison of Quantitative Real-Time PCR and Digital PCR to Detect the Polyomavirus in Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Barchitta, Martina;Maugeri, Andrea;Campisi, Elisabetta;Magnano San Lio, Roberta;Favara, Giuliana;Salvatorelli, Lucia;Magro, Gaetano;Basile, Guido;Agodi, Antonella
2022

Abstract

Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) prevalence in Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) cases is controversial. The detection and quantification of MCPyV DNA is mainly performed by PCR techniques using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. The aim of this study is to compare the performance of two different molecular techniques, specifically the quantitative Real-Time PCR (qPCR) and digital PCR (dPCR). Samples from 31 cases of MCC excisional surgical biopsies were analyzed. DNA extraction and purification from clinical samples were performed using the QIAcube Qiagen automated nucleic acid extractor. After the extraction, MCPyV was detected by qPCR and dPCR using specially designed primers and probes. Of the 31 MCC samples under study, the MCPyV genome was detected in 11 samples (35%) by qPCR compared with 20 samples (65%) detected by dPCR. Notably, 65% of primary tumors were positive for MCPyV (15/23). The viral genome was detected in 75% of tumors located at UV-exposed sites (6/8), 55% of tumors at partially UV-protected sites (5/9), and 67% of tumors at UV-protected sites (4/6). Our results showed a better sensitivity of dPCR in detecting the MCPyV genome in MCC samples compared with traditional qPCR techniques.
FFPE skin samples
Merkel cell carcinoma
Merkel cell polyomavirus
digital PCR
real-time qPCR
Humans
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
Formaldehyde
Carcinoma, Merkel Cell
Polyomavirus
Polyomavirus Infections
Merkel cell polyomavirus
Skin Neoplasms
Nucleic Acids
Tumor Virus Infections
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/539606
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