Nucleic Acid Amplification as used in the Diagnosis and Management of Viral Diseases: A Review
Diagnostic virology is of great importance particularly in disease management and for epidemiological purposes, but is slow and results are obtained when the patient has recovered or succumbed to the infection. In addition, consideration of antiviral chemotherapy is in short supply even where preliminary investigation results are available. Some viruses are highly unculturable, fastidious or hazardous to the laboratory personnel and diagnosis depends on serological methods or culture in an expensive bio-safety level. Molecular diagnostic techniques do not depend on pathogen isolation or growth or on the detection of an immune response to the pathogen, rather uses genotypic characteristics to identify specific pathogen. Nucleic acid of a given pathogen is unique, and therefore nucleic acid analysis can be used for unequivocal identification via amplification to increase the amount of material available for analysis. Nucleic acid-based diagnostic methods are extremely sensitive, reliable and to some extent affordable, and are widely used for clinical microbiology to detect pathogen.
Keywords: Amplification, Diagnosis, Nucleic acid, Viral Diseases