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Clin Chem. 1998 Jan;44(1):12-26.

Fundamentals of quality assessment of molecular amplification methods in clinical diagnostics. International Federation of Clinical Chemistry Scientific Division Committee on Molecular Biology Techniques.

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Abteilung für Klinische Chemie, Medizinische Klinik, Universitäts-Krankenhaus Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.


The increasing interest in molecular biology diagnostics is a result of the tremendous gain of scientific knowledge in genetics, made possible especially since the introduction of amplification techniques. High expectations have been placed on genetic testing, and the number of laboratories now using the relevant technology is rapidly increasing--resulting in an obvious need for standardization and definition of laboratory organization. This communication is an effort towards that end. We address aspects that should be considered when structuring a new molecular diagnostic laboratory, and we discuss individual preanalytical and analytical procedures, from sampling to evaluation of assay results. In addition, different means of controlling contamination are discussed. Because the methodology is in constant change, no general standards can be defined. Accordingly, this publication is intended to serve as a recommendation for good laboratory practice and internal quality control and as a guide to troubleshooting, primarily in amplification techniques.

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