Molecular Test Detection

Polymerase chain reaction

Dr. Nithin Jayan
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB
Last Updated on May 20, 2014
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Test : Polymerase chain reaction

Indications : PCR is ordered for the following:

Prenatal /post natal diagnosis of sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and muscular dystrophy
Detect oncogene activation in the case of lymphoma and chronic myelogenous leukemia
Detect the presence of microbes in the case of infections
Paternity testing
Identification of forensic samples

The PCR technique permits a million- fold amplification of small pieces of DNA in several hours. The amplification is performed by multiple cycles of DNA polymerizing enzyme in the presence of known sequences. The procedure is automated with programmable heating blocks to cycle the reaction automatically. The technique has unprecedented sensitivity, being able to use small quantity of DNA from a single cell for amplification.

Physiology : The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a revolutionary technique that was developed by Kary Mullis in the 1980s.

PCR is widely used in the field of molecular biology. It employs DNA polymerase to synthesize new stands of DNA which is complementary to the target sequence (or template).A primer, which is a short sequence of DNA complimentary to the target sequence, is mandatory for amplification of DNA and this makes it possible for the person employing the technique to control it.

The following components are necessary for PCR:

DNA polymerase
Target sequence or template
Primer
Nucleotides

Interpretation : The target sequence gets exponentially multiplied during PCR method. After several cycles, the reaction reaches a plateau phase and eventually ceases.

Test Method : PCR technique

Related Tests : Depends upon the amplification required.



References : +



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