PCR – polymerase chain reaction is known since 1983, when it opened a future Nobel Prize Myullis. This method provides the work with a negligible amount of starting material (DNA), increasing its size in thousands and millions of times. At the same time playing an exact copy of the original DNA, which makes this method is the most accurate and reliable in the diagnosis of various diseases.
The most popular PCR from urologists and dermatologists. Besides medicine PCR is used in archeology, genetics, forensics (including the contentious issues in the determination of paternity).
Advantages of PCR
The following advantages of the PCR reaction made this the most popular in medicine:
- high sensitivity and specificity;
- 100% detection of a variety of viruses, chlamydia, mycoplasma, and so on. Etc .;
- PCR can be used for any biological material;
- the ability to detect multiple pathogens;
- analysis speed (within a day).
PCR is most often used to determine the causative agents of urogenital infections and for many is the only reliable method of definitive diagnosis.
for PCR Limitations:
Unfortunately, despite the high specificity and accuracy of the method by PCR can be found, not all microorganisms. Agents for diseases following PCR method is not as informative as the other:
- staphylococcal and streptococcal infections;
PCR: application in medicine
PCR diagnostics Burning or itching of the external genitalia, a variety of allocation serous, purulent or mixed, hard current “thrush”, all sorts of problems with the prostate – from these and other symptoms can be eliminated, if accurately determine the causative agent and undergo appropriate treatment. PCR in most cases helps to solve this problem are more likely to establish the truth of the pathogen.
Gonorrhea, mycoplasma, chlamydia, trichomonas, HPV and other diseases can occur almost asymptomatic. In this situation it is quite difficult to understand what actually causes the inflammation of the urinary organs. PCR in this case helps to identify this pathogen, then was appointed to adequate treatment.
It is known that hepatitis can be caused by viruses A and B, C and D, C and E. PCR virus in the blood can be detected much earlier than the analysis on the definition of antibodies to the respective antigens.
Standard techniques detect the presence of antibodies to HIV in human blood. But the feature of the biology of this virus is that at the initial and terminal stage of the disease antibodies in the body are not defined. You get the picture: there is a virus in the blood, and tests – negative.
PCR helps in this case reliably answer the question whether the HIV in the body of the person is present or not, with a probability of 99%. PCR is particularly important to conduct during the so-called “window” when the virus is, but in the blood are no antibodies in sufficient quantities for detection by laboratory methods ( “window” in some cases it may take more than 3.5 years, although it standard time is about 6-12 months).
Since PCR can not only diagnose the disease, but also to monitor the effectiveness of treatment of various infectious diseases.