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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Real-Time PCR. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Viral Load

Viral load (quantitative PCR) refers to the number of viral genomes present in a patient sample. Clinically, determining viral loads is extremely important in the monitoring and treatment of patients suffering from HIV, hepatitis B and C, and CMV. Tracking the viral load in patient samples can detect the efficiency of antiviral therapy, show potential medication resistance, and indicate possible relapses.
Determining viral load is also important for transplant patients. Viral pathogens have a detrimental effect on transplant recipients. The use of real-time PCR provides a rapid turnaround time that is crucial when treating and monitoring these patients.