Immuno-PCR: a promising ultrasensitive diagnostic method to detect antigens and antibodies

Trends Microbiol. 2011 Jun;19(6):295-302. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2011.03.004. Epub 2011 Apr 7.


Immuno-PCR (iPCR) is a method that combines the advantages of both enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and PCR and is a powerful method for detecting low quantities of protein antigens. Despite its potential, for a long time iPCR was an underutilized method as evidenced by the low number of publications on its routine application. The introduction of ready-to-use reagents, the large choice in linker molecule, reduction of protocol time and the development of new systems is opening the way for iPCR to become a routine method for use as a microbial diagnostic. To understand how iPCR could become an indispensible microbial diagnostic, we review the evolution of iPCR, from its first classical format with numerous drawbacks to more sophisticated systems developed to circumvent these drawbacks.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infections / diagnosis*
  • Infections / microbiology
  • Infections / virology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antibodies
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Viral