Why does specificity matter?
Accurate PCR testing, with an emphasis on specificity, holds immense significance for clinical laboratories and research institutions. Specificity in PCR testing refers to the ability to correctly identify individuals without the condition of interest and is of paramount importance in a clinical laboratory. It ensures accurate results, reducing the risk of misdiagnosis and unnecessary treatments. High specificity, especially in multiplex reactions, aids in selecting appropriate treatment strategies and prevents the dissemination of misinformation while reducing costs and interrogating multiple targets within a single reaction.
For researchers, high specificity helps to ensure integrity of the results of a study, allowing the data to withstand rigorous scientific scrutiny.
In infectious disease diagnostics and research, accurate PCR testing plays a critical role. By targeting specific genetic material, PCR enables the identification of causative pathogens with high specificity. Highly specific PCR reactions allow for precise and accurate detection of infectious agents, leading to appropriate treatment strategies, effective disease surveillance, and timely implementation of infection control measures.
Patented Co-Primers technology enables greater specificity than other PCR technologies
Co-Primers (short for “cooperative primers”) technology by Co-Dx is a new class of primer technology that uses a novel, patented architecture to help combat issues that often plague PCR reactions, such as target sequence variations and primer dimers. It’s the first PCR technology of its kind designed to help prevent primer dimer formation and propagation during amplification, and to provide enhanced specificity to reduce the likelihood of false negative or false positive results.Co-Primers have a unique structure that enables enhanced binding specificity, especially when compared to competing real-time PCR platforms. The molecules consist of two fragments, joined by a linker:
- A shorter PRIMER, or primer sequence, with somewhat lower affinity for the template;
- A longer PROBE, or capture sequence, with greater affinity and may be equipped with a quencher and a fluorophore; and
- The flexible, non-extendable linker which is chemically blocked on both ends to prevent polymerase extension through the linker.
The combined length of both fragments is typically greater than that of a regular PCR primer.Once the higher affinity probe initiates binding, it brings the shorter primer into closer proximity with the template and stabilizes it while it binds to the target and is extended by the polymerase. If a quenched fluorophore is included on the probe, it is released and activated by the polymerase activity.The longer capture sequence inherently leads to greater specificity in the reaction. Because the linker prevents polymerase extension from the probe, that probe sequence is not copied into the PCR product and its binding specificity is retained in each cycle.For healthcare professionals and researchers, accurate PCR testing is indispensable for monitoring and managing infectious diseases and outbreaks. This information is as crucial for those involved in epidemiological studies, public health policy formulation, and the development of targeted therapeutics or vaccines as it is for physicians providing treatment, and patients being treated. Thanks to the high specificity enabled by our patented Co-Primers, Co-Dx products built on our Co-Primers architecture help to give your laboratory or institution results you can rely on.