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Trends Microbiol. 2002;10(10 Suppl):S15-21.

Molecular detection and genotyping of pathogens: more accurate and rapid answers.

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Dept of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Rapid molecular methods have enhanced the capabilities of laboratories to identify and characterize microbial pathogens in greater detail. Nucleic acid amplification strategies and advances in amplicon detection have been key aspects in the progress of molecular microbiology. Sophisticated new amplification-detection combinations are resulting in many applications in laboratory testing for infectious diseases. These applications include qualitative detection, sub-species-level DNA fingerprinting, molecular resistance testing and genotyping, and quantitative (viral load) testing. When applied selectively in the laboratory, these applications can enhance diagnostic approaches and clinical management and will probably evolve into standard laboratory and point-of-care testing protocols.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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