Acumen Detection

Real-Time PCR vs. Culture

What is Real-Time PCR?

Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology, or Quantitative PCR (qPCR), is a molecular method for quickly identifying specific pathogens based on analysis of their DNA.

If the pathogen is present, a fragment of its DNA will be replicated exponentially through repeated heating and cooling cycles. As the DNA sequence is amplified, special equipment measures the proportional increase in fluorescence (light) generated with each cycle.

Within just a few hours, the targeted pathogen is identified as either detected or absent. No further analysis or interpretation is required.

Real-time PCR technology has been proven in many applications, including quantification of human pathogens and detecting biohazards in food, drinking water and the environment.

Acumen Detection Real-Time PCR vs Culture DNA Replication
Acumen Detection Real-Time PCR vs Culture Veterinarian with Dairy Cows

Acumen Detection has now harnessed the power of Real-Time PCR for use on the dairy farm, allowing producers to identify mastitis-causing pathogens in just 3 hours.

How does Real-Time PCR compare to culturing for detecting mastitis-causing pathogens?

It's faster.

Real-Time PCR provides actionable results in just 3 hours, enabling producers to treat or cull infected cows sooner to mitigate the risk of disease transmission. This is especially important for slow-growing microbes like Mycoplasma, which may require up to 10 days to identify via culture.

It's more accurate.

With Real-Time PCR, the pathogen is either detected or it isn’t. There’s no guessing or subjective interpretation involved.

It's more reliable.

Because only a fragment of DNA is required, Real-Time PCR can detect target pathogens present in very low concentrations as well as fragile or hard-to-culture organisms like Strep uberis, Mycoplasma and Prototheca.

No lab-grade equipment or special expertise required!

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