Caister Academic Press

The Role of Real-time PCR in Routine Microbial Diagnostics

Eric C.J. Claas, Willem J.G. Melchers and Adriaan J.C. van den Brule
from: Real-Time PCR in Microbiology: From Diagnosis to Characterization (Edited by: Ian M. Mackay). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2007)


Routine microbial diagnostics have changed significantly over the last two decades. Initially, implementation of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) resulted in sensitive detection of microbes that were hard or impossible to diagnose by conventional diagnostic procedures such as culture and serology. A further improved version is now rapidly replacing end-point detection PCR in many diagnostic laboratories. In real-time PCR, amplified products are detected by fluorescence at the moment that they are generated and directly related to the input target quantity, so that quantitation is possible. For research purposes this has been shown to be a valuable tool in for example quantifying expression levels of genes, but also routine clinical laboratories have implemented numerous applications of this powerful method. This chapter provides an overview of different routine microbial applications in clinical diagnostics and shows the increasing importance of real-time PCR in the different fields of microbiology read more ...
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