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Adv Clin Chem. 2005;40:219-59.

Advances in real-time PCR: application to clinical laboratory diagnostics.

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Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA.


The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has become one of the most important tools in molecular diagnostics, providing exquisite sensitivity and specificity for detection of nucleic acid targets. Real-time monitoring of PCR has simplified and accelerated PCR laboratory procedures and has increased information obtained from specimens including routine quantification and differentiation of amplification products. Clinical diagnostic applications and uses of real-time PCR are growing exponentially, real-time PCR is rapidly replacing traditional PCR, and new diagnostic uses likely will emerge. This review analyzes the scope of present and potential future clinical diagnostic applications of this powerful technique. Critical discussions focus on basic concepts, variations, data analysis, instrument platforms, signal detection formats, sample collection, assay design, and execution of real-time PCR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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