Unique Skill ID: BGSE2E7CB33A6794583C

Nucleic Acid Amplification

A nucleic acid test (NAT) is a technique used to detect a particular nucleic acid sequence and thus usually to detect and identify a particular species or subspecies of organism, often a virus or bacterium that acts as a pathogen in blood, tissue, urine, etc. NATs differ from other tests in that they detect genetic materials rather than antigens or antibodies. Detection of genetic materials allows an early diagnosis of a disease because the detection of antigens and/or antibodies requires time for them to start appearing in the bloodstream. Since the amount of a certain genetic material is usually very small, many NATs include a step that amplifies the genetic material—that is, makes many copies of it. Such NATs are called nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs). There are several ways of amplification, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR), strand displacement assay (SDA), or transcription mediated assay (TMA).

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