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Loop-mediated isothermal amplification: from brucellosis to SARS-CoV-2

The development of new nucleic acid amplification techniques is bringing molecular diagnostics closer to the patient for faster results and improved patient management. A prime example of this latest near-patient capability is LAMP technology.

Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of many conditions often now require a molecular assay result, involving the detection of a specific nucleic acid sequence in a patient sample. The molecular result may be qualitative (eg for confirmation of the disease or condition) or quantitative (eg to measure viral loads in the monitoring of patients or to assess treatment success).

            The detection of a specific nucleic acid sequence in a biological sample that contains huge amounts of DNA and/or RNA is extremely challenging. Therefore, nucleic acid amplification techniques such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have been used to make multiple copies of the target nucleic acid sequence, allowing it to be detectable against background nucleic acids.

            The special equipment and expertise required for molecular diagnostics previously meant that assays had to be performed in central, specialised molecular laboratories. Now, however, with the advent of more simple amplification techniques, such as loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and quantitative LAMP (Q-LAMP), certain molecular diagnostic assays can be performed in decentralised settings. This allows molecular assay results to be in the hands of clinicians much more quickly, enabling them to make important decisions about patient treatment or management at the earliest opportunity.

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Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2023

Birmingham International Convention Centre.
17-20 April 2023

British Society for Microbial Technology Annual Microbiology Conference

Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon, London
11 May 2023

Microscience Microscopy Congress 2023 (mmc 2023, incorporating EMAG 2023)

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ICC Birmingham
25-28 September 2023

Access the latest issue of Pathology In Practice on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Pathology In Practice app from your device's App store

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