About PCR and Real-time PCR
Current innovations by Co-Diagnostics include platform technologies within the field of real-time PCR. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is a method used by scientists and clinicians to create hundreds of billions of identical copies of a single strand of DNA. Real-time PCR uses a DNA probe that "lights up" in the presence of the targeted DNA. This allows real-time visualization of the amplification process.
Real-time PCR can be used in a variety of applications. The following are a few examples:
- Window period detection for blood screening or screening of high risk groups
- Viral load for monitoring the effectiveness of treatment
- Infant diagnostics for testing infants under 18 months
- Genotyping for identifying drug resistance or pathogenecity in cancer and infectious disease
- Detection of acute infections, like Dengue or Influenza
- Faster diagnosis, especially compared to cultures of slow growing pathogens, such as tuberculosis
- Confirmation of results from other testing methods
The window period is an important concept for PCR testing. During the first few days to months of infection, the pathogen grows unhindered. This stage of infection is highly contagious due to large amounts of pathogen being present without any inhibitory antibodies. Unfortunately, the most common and least expensive method of testing is ineffective during this phase due to the abscence of antibodies. This is especially problematic for blood banks that could be transfusing infected blood unless they screen for viral DNA in addition to antibodies.
Viral load is used to determine the effectiveness of a given treatment. If the amount of virus decreases or disappears after an individual receives treatment, then the treatment is effective. If not, then the treatment did not work.
Co-Diagnostics has acquired a suite of platform technologies that includes everything necessary to run real-time PCR. These technologies span the probes used to detect the target DNA, the primer technologies used to initiate DNA amplification, the hot start used to reduce nonspecific amplification initiated during setup, the master mix containing the various salts and ezymes that enable PCR, and various other technologies.
Contact us for details on licensing of platform technologies and individual tests or for OEM opportunities.
Items of Interest
Co-Diagnostics HBDC provides a variety of real-time PCR tests for infectious diseases around the world. Follow the links below to access resources for international products: