PCR not recommended for diagnosis of AIDS and some other problems



In our hands, culture was more sensitive than PCR and SybrGreen based real-time

Notice the "in our hands " qualification this disclaimer is noticably absent in the European studies

PCR and the difference was even more pronounced when not optimal DNA-extraction methods were used.

because of the influence of sample pretreatment, DNA-extraction protocol and the PCR format, there is a need for validation of the PCR techniques before these can be used in a routine laboratory.

Note the importance of DNA extraction techniques

Deschaught et al
BMC Microbiology 2009, 9:244doi:10.1186/1471-2180-9-244

The following is a summary statement about PCR testing that was recently published in a research journal.

It states:
"The PCR assay is not sufficiently accurate to be used for the diagnosis of HIV infection without confirmation.

Use of PCR for the diagnosis of HIV in adults should be limited to situations in which antibody tests are known to be insufficient.

Future studies of PCR performance should be sufficiently large and should use adequate reference standard tests and standardized methods for the performance of PCR.

Specimens should be evaluated by persons blinded to clinical status and to the results of other diagnostic tests for HIV infection."

note the blinded bit
Rick Sowadsky, M.S.P.H.
Frequently Asked Questions About AIDS (II)
Rick Sowadsky
January 2010

The ICC/PCR approach combines two previously applied virus detection methods, conventional cell culture and PCR amplification, utilizing the major advantages and overcoming the major limitations of each methodology when used alone.
Affiliation(s): (2) Environmental Research Laboratory, University of Arizona,

This how they generally "find" virus inserted in the genome


Hi Gerwyn,

Just spotted this! Very interesting. You're on fire lately, you really are. ;):D
Given these problems, how come so many people are touting PCR as the way to find XMRV? It puzzles me.

Rachel xx