Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a method to copy or “amplify” small segments of DNA or RNA. Using PCR, millions of copies of a DNA fragment are made in just a few hours, yielding enough DNA required for analysis.
In a healthcare setting, PCR makes enough copies of target DNA from the clinical sample such as blood or tissue to allow analysis. In addition to detecting diseases, PCR enables to determine the amount of virus or virus load present in a person. In diseases such as hepatitis C or HIV infections, the viral load indicates the disease state or effectiveness of a treatment. In conclusion PCR results of diagnostic and monitoring tests provide clinicians with information to guide treatment.
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