PCR Tests: MedlinePlus Medical Test

James J. Latham

What are PCR tests?

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests are a quick, hugely precise way to diagnose particular infectious diseases and genetic adjustments. The tests do the job by getting the DNA or RNA of a pathogen (ailment-triggering organism) or irregular cells in a sample.

  • DNA is the genetic material that is made up of instructions and info for all dwelling items.
  • RNA is an additional type of genetic material. It is made up of info that has been copied from DNA and is included in building proteins.

Most viruses and other pathogens have DNA or RNA.

Compared with quite a few other tests, PCR tests can uncover evidence of ailment in the earliest stages of infection. Other tests may well skip early symptoms of ailment because there usually are not plenty of viruses, microorganisms, or other pathogens in the sample, or your entire body has not had plenty of time to build an antibody response. Antibodies are proteins manufactured by your immune program to attack foreign substances, this sort of as viruses and microorganisms. PCR tests can detect ailment when there is only a quite little amount of pathogens in your entire body.

All through a PCR take a look at, a little amount of genetic material in a sample is copied numerous moments. The copying process is identified as amplification. If there are pathogens in the sample, amplification will make them significantly a lot easier to see.

Other names: polymerase chain reaction, rtPCR, reverse transcription PCR, qPCR, quantitative PCR, true-time PCR

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