The use of digital PCR to improve the application of quantitative molecular diagnostic methods for tuberculosis

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Devonshire A. S. , O'Sullivan D. M. , Honeyborne I., Jones G., Karczmarczyk M., Pavsic J., ...More

BMC INFECTIOUS DISEASES, vol.16, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12879-016-1696-7
  • Title of Journal : BMC INFECTIOUS DISEASES


Background: Real-time PCR (qPCR) based methods, such as the Xpert MTB/RIF, are increasingly being used to diagnose tuberculosis (TB). While qualitative methods are adequate for diagnosis, the therapeutic monitoring of TB patients requires quantitative methods currently performed using smear microscopy. The potential use of quantitative molecular measurements for therapeutic monitoring has been investigated but findings have been variable and inconclusive. The lack of an adequate reference method and reference materials is a barrier to understanding the source of such disagreement. Digital PCR (dPCR) offers the potential for an accurate method for quantification of specific DNA sequences in reference materials which can be used to evaluate quantitative molecular methods for TB treatment monitoring.