OUR SERVICESMolecular Infectious Disease/PCR Testing

PCR Testing

The PCR-based genetic test identifies the presence or absence of specific pathogen. If any tested bacteria are present in a patient sample, we will perform a reflex antibiotic resistance test (ABR, 44 different antibiotic resistance genes). 

We provide the results within 24 hours after receipt of the sample. The ABR program helps medical providers doctors antibiotic treatment options with specific pathogens.

What is PRCR Testing?

Molecular Diagnostics Real-Time PCR Testing

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a molecular genetic test used in medical diagnostics laboratories for detecting the presence or absence of pathogen-specific genetic sequences (deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA or ribonucleic acid, RNA). This PCR test accurately identifies the cause of infection. This real-time PCR generates thousands of copies of a unique region of genetic sequences specific to a given pathogen from a very small amount of DNA.  Thus, real-time PCR technology allows to differentiate between various pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites)

Accurate Testing Leads To Accurate Care

Why consider PCR technique for diagnosis?  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has discovered 1 in 3 antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary. Each year in the United States, at least 2 MILLION people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics

The AIM Laboratories Solution

AIM laboratories provide accurate, comprehensive and rapid diagnostic tests to correctly identify infectious pathogens through the use of very sensitive and specific real-time Open-array platform-based PCR assays.

Streamlined Process

The specimen arrives in our lab and results will be ready in 24hours. Results are delivered on a one-page summary that provides treatment options.  This test detects the presence of pathogen only and does not detect disease.  Clinically correlate results for significance. 

AIM Laboratories utilizes molecular genetic tests with TaqMan probe-based fluorescent-Real-Time PCR to detect infectious pathogens in:

Urinary Tract Infections (38 pathogens: 35 bacteria, 1 protozoan and 2 viruses), Respiratory tract infections (44 pathogens: 31 viruses, 12 bacteria and 1 fungus), Women’s reproductive health infections including sexually transmitted disease-causing pathogens (34 pathogens: 31 bacteria, 1 protozoan and 2 viruses), and Wound/skin infections (43 pathogens: 34 bacteria, and 9 fungi).

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Why PCR-based Technology is better than other traditional culture, biochemical and physical tests?

Nucleic acids amplification-based tests (Polymerase chain Reaction, PCR)
Highly specific, sensitive and rapid (<24h TAT)
Large number of pathogens can be assayed at one time. 
Accurately identify antibiotic resistance genes as a reflex test in and therefore can prescribe correct medicine for the first time.
Pathogens can be easily identified in a biofilm environment. 

 

PCR is clinically approved (high-complexity test).
Microbial Culture /Biochemical/microscopic-based tests
Ambiguity: requires additional tests
Some pathogens are culturable, some require more time to culture and some may not be culturable.
Mutations may occur in microbes during in-vitro culture, which may mislead pathogen antibiotic resistance.
Some microbes are able to form biofilms which makes it difficult to identify an antibiotic sensitivity using culture-based methods.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the common symptoms of a UTI?

UTIs can present with different symptoms for different people. Some of the more common symptoms that may indicate you may have a UTI include

  • A strong and frequent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Strong smelling urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
What is the common cause of a UTI?
    1. The most frequent cause of a UTI is the bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is typically found in the colon. However, sometimes other bacteria are responsible.
    2. UTIs can also be caused by an infection in the urethra. This can occur when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra.
What are risk factors for developing a UTI?
    1. Women are at higher risk for developing a UTI. Risk factors for women include:
      • Age: The risk of UTIs increase with age
      • Incomplete bladder emptying
      • Sexual activity
      • Certain forms of contraceptives such as diaphragms and spermicidal agents
      • Menopause: A decline in estrogen causes changes in the urinary tract
    2. Other risk factors not specific to women include:
      • Abnormalities in the urinary tract: Such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate
      • Immunosuppression
      • Diabetes
      • Catheter use
      • Recent urinary surgery
What is the most common treatment for a UTI?

UTIs are mainly treated with antibiotics in addition to drinking plenty of liquids, especially water

How can you prevent a UTI?
    1. Drink plenty of water and other liquids
      1. Cranberry juice and blueberry juices are believed to help prevent infection
    2. Intake of probiotics such as yogurt
    3. Regular emptying of the bladder, especially following intercourse
    4. Ensure proper personal hygiene