Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a method of duplicating
DNA strands from a tiny sample of blood, hair, or
tissue. PCR is used to identify infectious diseases, genetic conditions, and
genetic links between people.
PCR is preferred over a fetal blood test for
PCR is better than antibody testing to detect
PCR can be done earlier in a pregnancy than a blood
test for antibodies. Because first- and second-trimester fetal infection carry
the highest risk of birth defects and
intellectual disability, earlier test results are
important to parents who are considering ending such a pregnancy.
PCR is seldom used to diagnose toxoplasmosis in adults.
Antibody testing of a blood sample is easier and more widely available.
Davies JK, Gibbs RS (2008). Toxoplasmosis section of
Obstetric and perinatal infections. In RS Gibbs et al., eds., Danforth's Obstetrics and Gynecology, 10th ed., pp. 346-350.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
June 2, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 02, 2011
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