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PCR Tests: MedlinePlus Medical Test

What are PCR checks?

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) checks are a rapid, really precise way to diagnose selected infectious ailments and genetic variations. The checks get the job done by obtaining the DNA or RNA of a pathogen (ailment-triggering organism) or abnormal cells in a sample.

  • DNA is the genetic content that consists of guidance and facts for all living points.
  • RNA is an additional variety of genetic content. It consists of facts that has been copied from DNA and is associated in creating proteins.

Most viruses and other pathogens include DNA or RNA.

Compared with many other checks, PCR checks can come across proof of ailment in the earliest stages of an infection. Other checks could skip early signals of ailment because there aren’t sufficient viruses, microorganisms, or other pathogens in the sample, or your body hasn’t had sufficient time to develop an antibody response. Antibodies are proteins created by your immune system to assault international substances, this sort of as viruses and microorganisms. PCR checks can detect ailment when there is only a incredibly compact volume of pathogens in your body.

In the course of a PCR test, a compact volume of genetic content in a sample is copied many situations. The copying method is recognized as amplification. If there are pathogens in the sample, amplification will make them a great deal simpler to see.

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