When a pregnant woman has
toxoplasmosis, a PCR test on
amniotic fluid is used to learn whether her fetus is
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a method of duplicating
DNA strands from a tiny sample of blood, hair, or
tissue. PCR is used to identify infectious diseases, genetic conditions, and
genetic links between people.
PCR is preferred over a fetal blood test for
In rare cases, PCR produces
false-negative test results. Follow-up testing and
fetal ultrasound monitoring for
hydrocephalus can help confirm PCR test
PCR is seldom used to diagnose toxoplasmosis in adults.
Antibody testing of a blood sample is easier and more widely available.
CitationsDavies JK, Gibbs RS (2008). Toxoplasmosis section of
Obstetric and perinatal infections. In RS Gibbs et al., eds., Danforth's Obstetrics and Gynecology, 10th ed., pp. 346–350.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
June 2, 2011
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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