Applications of Digital PCR for Clinical Microbiology

J Clin Microbiol. 2017 Jun;55(6):1621-1628. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00211-17. Epub 2017 Mar 15.


Digital PCR (dPCR) is an important new tool for use in the clinical microbiology laboratory. Its advantages over quantitative PCR (qPCR), including absolute quantification without a standard curve, improved precision, improved accuracy in the presence of inhibitors, and more accurate quantitation when amplification efficiency is low, make dPCR the assay of choice for several specimen testing applications. This minireview will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of dPCR compared to qPCR, its applications in clinical microbiology, and considerations for implementation of the method in a clinical laboratory.

Keywords: applications; digital PCR; quantitative PCR.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*