Quantitative nucleic acid amplification by digital PCR for clinical viral diagnostics

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In the past few years, interest in the development of digital PCR (dPCR) as a direct nucleic acid amplification technique for clinical viral diagnostics has grown. The main advantages of dPCR over qPCR include: quantification of nucleic acid concentrations without a calibration curve, comparable sensitivity, superior quantitative precision, greater resistance to perturbations by inhibitors, and increased robustness to the variability of the target sequence. In this review, we address the application of dPCR to viral nucleic acid quantification in clinical applications and for nucleic acid quantification standardization. Further development is required to overcome the current limitations of dPCR in order to realize its widespread use for viral load measurements in clinical diagnostic applications.

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