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Molecular Analysis

Why do we want to use Molecular Analysis? Molecular Analysis offers several advantages over immunology-based (ELISA) analysis. 
In the following table we explore some of the features making the molecular approach particularly attractive.

 

 

Molecular Analysis

ELISA-based Analysis

Sensitivity

Molecular analysis is based on the amplification of the genetic "fingerprint" of the pathogen. The smallest amount of pathogen is easily detected.

Especially in the initial stages of infection, when just traces of the pathogen are present, it is well possible that those traces fall below the detection limit of the method.

Specificity

Genetic material characterizes every distinct living organism. By analyzing the genetic material there is no risk of mixing up different pathogens.

Antibodies can sometimes bind and recognize similar antigens, even if they belong to distinct pathogens. The risk of false-positives in the analysis is a real one.

Rational development

Diagnostic tests are rationally designed, based on the known genetic (DNA/RNA) sequences of the pathogens.

A new test is produced through the use of new antibodies. Producing antibodies is a very long and random process.

Versatility

Thanks to the rational development, it is possible to produce a new test for virtually any pathogen.

It cannot be taken for granted that it is possible to produce a good antibody for the identification of any given pathogen.

Efficiency

It is possible to robotize tests. Thanks to rational development, existing tests can be optimized and improved in very short times.

The nature of the technology lets just limited room to improvements and automation. Achieving good antibodies requires years of optimization.

Logistics

Analysis is performed based on DNA/RNA extracted from plants. Pathogens eventually contained in the plant material are disarmed and can be safely transported.

Analysis is performed based on fresh plant extracts. Pathogens eventually contained are still infective and laws, for clear safety reasons, forbid the transportation of such materials.

Speed

Complete analysis is very fast. Thanks to automation and miniaturization a very large amount of samples can be tested in parallel, and time-to-results is very short.

Complete analysis can be performed in few days. But the number of samples that can be processed in parallel is limited, thus time-to-results cannot be shortened.

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