A new method for robust quantitative and qualitative analysis of real-time PCR

Nucleic Acids Res. 2008 Aug;36(14):e91. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkn408. Epub 2008 Jul 4.


An automated data analysis method for real-time PCR needs to exhibit robustness to the factors that routinely impact the measurement and analysis of real-time PCR data. Robust analysis is paramount to providing the same interpretation for results regardless of the skill of the operator performing or reviewing the work. We present a new method for analysis of real-time PCR data, the maxRatio method, which identifies a consistent point within or very near the exponential region of the PCR signal without requiring user intervention. Compared to other analytical techniques that generate only a cycle number, maxRatio generates several measurements of amplification including cycle numbers and relative measures of amplification efficiency and curve shape. By using these values, the maxRatio method can make highly reliable reactive/nonreactive determination along with quantitative evaluation. Application of the maxRatio method to the analysis of quantitative and qualitative real-time PCR assays is shown along with examples of method robustness to, and detection of, amplification response anomalies.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydia trachomatis / genetics
  • Female
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / standards
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence


  • RNA, Viral