Molecular diagnostics in infectious diseases and public health microbiology: cottage industry to postgenomics

Trends Mol Med. 2002 Jun;8(6):280-7. doi: 10.1016/s1471-4914(02)02349-3.


Molecular methods have been used increasingly over the past ten years to improve the sensitivity and speed of diagnosis in infectious diseases. Although their routine use is still limited to the detection of pathogens that are difficult to culture in vitro,'real-time' methods, commercial kits, quantification and automation will increase potential applications. Molecular methods are now widely used for epidemiological fingerprinting of isolates of public health importance. Sequence-based identification and strain typing, together with the development of tools that can probe for thousands of markers, will allow detailed strain fingerprinting to assist in disease management and control.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Communicable Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases / microbiology
  • Communicable Diseases / virology
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Genomics*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods*
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / standards
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Population Surveillance
  • Public Health / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity