Real-time PCR in microbiology: From diagnosis to characterization

Real-time PCR in microbiology: From diagnosis to characterization. Edited by Ian M. Mackay United Kingdom: Horizon Press - Caister Academic Press, 2007.

Title Real-time PCR in microbiology: From diagnosis to characterization
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Horizon Press - Caister Academic Press
Publication year 2007
Sub-type Edited book
Volume 1
ISBN 978-1-904455-18-9
Editor Ian M. Mackay
Start page 1
End page 454
Total number of pages 455
Collection year 2008
Subjects 270303 Virology
270304 Infectious Agents
730101 Infectious diseases
730110 Respiratory system and diseases (incl. asthma)
730204 Child health
1101 Medical Biochemistry and Metabolomics
06 Biological Sciences
1103 Clinical Sciences
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Research workers in more than one field have likened their experience to walking across a darkened room, constantly bumping into various objects. Only later, when eyes adjust to the gloom, can they look back and see exactly how the furniture is arranged. But that is only part of the story. When they switch on the light they discover another door and another darkened room. And the whole process is repeated. David Tyrell, 2002. Microorganisms have survived, evolved and expanded within the human population without pause. Sometimes they run afoul of the host immune response or a particularly effective drug or vaccine, but they thrive nonetheless. Today there seems to be renewed vigor among researchers to better understand these invaders and the interactions they have with our systems at the molecular level. There is also a renaissance of sorts in the discovery of"new" microorganisms which were previously unknown, although probably cohabiting with us for a very long time. Because of these advances there is an ongoing need for laboratory tools that work quickly, simply and effectively to detect and characterize these tiny terrors. PCR is one of these tools and it quickly found its place in both the clinical and the research microbiology laboratory. The development of real-time PCR heralded the arrival of a tool that could provide results in a clinicall y relevant timeframe while virtually abolishing the dreaded risk of carrying-over PCR product into subsequent PCRs. All it took to reach these goals was indirect detection of the product, removing the need to open up the reaction vessel However, as many of us know, the reality of any PCR is that on occasion one must make sure what looks to be happening is what actually is happening. This book seeks to present some further home truths, asking some tough questions and in so doing, describing and explaining some of the more complex aspects of real-time PCR as clearly as possible. Furthermore, this book aims to provide background for the novice, present a theoretical reference for the experienced user and hint at future developments we can expect to become more familiar with. The early chapters address the basics of PCR history, oligonucleotide design and standardization. The complex issue of quantification in microbiology is touched upon in many chapters but is addressed in particular in the middle section. The remainder of the book focuses on some applications of real-time PCR and the challenges faced, and sometimes overcome, by use of this technology. Finally, in a bid to get experts to address those questions we always want answered, but feel unworthy asking, I have dedicated a chapter to create a virtual roundtable discussion delving into the minds of real-time PCR authorities and experts in affiliated fields. The chapter makes for an insightful. sometimes topical and often humorous read, which I highly recommend. In today's world of newly identified viruses, imminent pandemics and possible bioterror, methods for microbiological application need to be as simple and robust as we can make them. We're not there yet but we will be soon. My own research, supported by the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation, the Sir Albert Sakzewski Virus Research Centre and the University of Queensland investigates respiratory viruses, and that bias will thankfully be apparent in several chapters. Preparing a work such as this marks the passage of many events in one's life, and the lives of others; events that seldom recur but always leave lasting impressions. Sometimes it's important to have somebody point them out so one can wave at them as they pass by. For me, that person is my wife, Katherine Arden, who deserves credit for much of this work on top of my heartfelt thanks for her insightful questions, unswerving support and Herculean endurance throughout this project. May I sincerely thank all the authors who completed work for this book; your endeav- ors have provided a diverse and interesting read and have hopefully stimulated some minds to answer the many questions we have posed and must continue to pose in order to open more doors, bump into more objects but ultimately illuminate more rooms in what would seem to be an enormously large house. Ian Mackay June 2007
Keyword PCR
real-time PCR
respiratory tract
internal control
respiratory illness
Q-Index Code AX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code

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Created: Tue, 06 May 2008, 11:38:16 EST by Lesley Arnicar on behalf of Clinical Medical Virology Centre