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Clin Infect Dis. 2011 May;52 Suppl 4:S326-30. doi: 10.1093/cid/cir047.

Multiplex PCR and emerging technologies for the detection of respiratory pathogens.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Emory Center for AIDS Research, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


Molecular methods are becoming more widely used for the detection of respiratory pathogens, in part because of their superior sensitivity, relatively rapid turnaround time, and ability to identify pathogens that are slow growing or difficult to culture. The recent novel H1N1 influenza A pandemic served to underscore how quickly new molecular tests can become available for clinical use. Over the years PCR has been the dominant amplification method. Recently, modifications of this technology have emerged, some of which allow for the rapid detection of multiple pathogens in a single test. This review will focus on emerging multiplex molecular technologies and their clinical utility for the detection of respiratory pathogens.

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