Real-time PCR amplification techniques are currently used to determine the viral load in clinical samples for an increasing number of targets. Real-time PCR reduces the time necessary to generate results after amplification. In-house developed PCR and nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA)-based systems combined with several detection strategies are being employed in a clinical diagnostic setting. The importance of these assays in disease management is still in an exploration phase. Although these technologies have the implicit capability of accurately measuring DNA and RNA in clinical samples, issues related to standardization and quality control must be resolved to enable routine implementation of these technologies in molecular diagnostics.

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Department of Virology

Niesters, B. (2001). Quantitation of viral load using real-time amplification techniques. Methods, 25(4), 419–429. doi:10.1006/meth.2001.1264