"Molecular Diagnostics of Infectious Diseases"
De Gruyter 2010
Molecular diagnostics has become one of the dominant platforms in clinical laboratory
medicine. In recent years, the advent of molecular methods has revolutionized the
evaluation of patients with presumed infectious diseases. Molecular methods not only
evaluate patients with infectious diseases but also contribute to the use of therapeutic
modalities in their treatment and cure.
Molecular diagnostics based on the direct detection of specific genetic material
in a specimen through nucleic acid amplification techniques (NATs) has largely
replaced antigen testing by immunoassays and become the leading technology. The
new molecular test systems are more specific and sensitive. They are able to detect
the presence of a pathogen faster than immunoassays. Furthermore, NATs provide the
possibility for detection of genetic variations allowing for further characterization of
pathogens including geno- and subtypes and drug-resistant variants.
Today, improved molecular diagnostics instrumentation automates many of the
sample preparation and assay steps that were formerly labor intensive. Robust chemistries
allow continual launch of new molecular assays with the majority of them being
CE-marked and/or FDA-cleared. Consequently, molecular diagnostics is indicated in
many areas of healthcare including infectious diseases, hematology/oncology, genetic
disorders and forensic medicine with molecular diagnostics of infectious diseases
making up the major part of the molecular in vitro diagnostics (IVD) market.
This book is intended to give a timely overview of molecular diagnostics of infectious
diseases. In the general section (chapters 1–6), preanalytical, analytical and postanalytical
issues are discussed. Furthermore, special attention is drawn to quality assurance/
quality control issues. In the specialized section (chapters 7–13), NATs for detection of
pathogens producing infectious diseases are discussed in detail. Each chapter focuses
on infectious diseases targeting a specific body tract or system. In all, this book can be
used as a starting point to evaluate which molecular method, test system, or instrument
may be considered or chosen for diagnostics of infectious diseases.
Molecular Diagnostics of Infectious Diseases tries to cover the whole field and provides
the utmost timely content. However, the reader should consider that this field is still
changing rapidly. Suggestions for further improvements to be considered in a future edition
are highly appreciated. Please contact the editor at .
Harald H. Kessler
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