Molecular methods and platforms for infectious diseases testing a review of FDA-approved and cleared assays

J Mol Diagn. 2011 Nov;13(6):583-604. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2011.05.011. Epub 2011 Aug 25.


The superior sensitivity and specificity associated with the use of molecular assays has greatly improved the field of infectious disease diagnostics by providing clinicians with results that are both accurate and rapidly obtained. Herein, we review molecularly based infectious disease diagnostic tests that are Food and Drug Administration approved or cleared and commercially available in the United States as of December 31, 2010. We describe specific assays and their performance, as stated in the Food and Drug Administration's Summary of Safety and Effectiveness Data or the Office of In Vitro Diagnostic Device Evaluation and Safety's decision summaries, product inserts, or peer-reviewed literature. We summarize indications for testing, limitations, and challenges related to implementation in a clinical laboratory setting for a wide variety of common pathogens. The information presented in this review will be particularly useful for laboratories that plan to implement or expand their molecular offerings in the near term.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques*
  • Communicable Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Communicable Diseases / genetics
  • Diagnostic Test Approval
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods*
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic