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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Molecular Methods in Clinical Microbiology. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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The Key Benefits: Reduced Turnaround Time

Organisms that are either present in very low numbers, or that possess a characteristically slow growth rate, may require an extended incubation before they are detected in culture. Amplification and/or detection of unique sequences of either DNA or RNA provide for a more timely identification. This is true whether they are applied to the specimen for direct detection, or in some cases, to culture positive specimens for culture confirmation/identification.

Even for organisms that are easy to recover and identify (example: Staphylococcus aureus) various molecular methods offer the ability for either direct detection in clinical material, or more rapid identification that would greatly aid in treatment and/or clinical management decisions.