Caister Academic Press

Point-of-Care Nucleic Acid Testing: Clinical Applications and Current Technologies

Angelika Niemz, Tanya M. Ferguson and David S. Boyle
from: Molecular Diagnostics: Current Research and Applications (Edited by: Jim Huggett and Justin O'Grady). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


Nucleic acid testing (NAT) has greatly enhanced the diagnosis of infectious diseases, but typically requires a central laboratory with highly skilled operators and complex equipment. This paradigm is not ideal for indications that require a rapid turn-around or for settings where a complex laboratory infrastructure is not available. In the past 10 years, novel assays and hardware solutions have been developed that have advanced NAT into peripheral laboratories. We anticipate that NAT in the near future will move to near patient settings in hospitals and physician's offices in developed countries, and to low resource primary care settings in developing countries. In this review we discuss selected clinical applications that can benefit from disseminated NAT, and highlight emerging diagnostic technologies for sample preparation, nucleic acid amplification and detection. We further describe systems that integrate several or all of these components to enable highly sensitive, rapid, and user friendly NAT for infectious disease diagnosis outside of the traditional laboratory read more ...
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