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|Title:||Molecular epidemiology: assumptions and limitations of commonly applied methods.|
|Citation:||International Journal for Parasitology, 1998; 28(6):981-987|
|Abstract:||An understanding of the epidemiology of a disease (i.e. its aetiology, transmission patterns) is crucial for the development and implementation of effective management practices. This requires sound epidemiological data. It is therefore important that scientists understand the assumptions and limitations of the methods used to gather such data. The aim of this paper is to discuss some of the assumptions and limitations of PCR-based methods used in studies of epidemiology. Since its development, PCR has had a major impact in the biological sciences. The ability to selectively amplify a specific region of the genome from a small amount of DNA makes this technique particularly useful as a diagnostic tool. A variety of PCR-based methods are available which can be used to identify strains and species of parasites. Some of these methods, such as random amplification of polymorphic DNA, have intrinsic properties which can limit their application. Other methods, such as PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism, require the availability of a sound taxonomic or genetic framework for the development of any diagnostic system for a particular organism. The problems encountered developing diagnostic probes in the absence of such a framework will be discussed using Giardia intestinalis as an example.|
|Keywords:||Epidemiology; molecular; systematics; taxonomy; PCR; RFLP; RAPD; giardia intestinalis|
|Description:||Copyright © 1998 Australian Society for Parasitology. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.|
|Appears in Collections:||Microbiology and Immunology publications|
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