Molecular Diagnostic Testing in Clinical and Public Health Laboratories

Molecular diagnostic testing combines laboratory testing with the precision of molecular biology and has revolutionized the way clinical and public health laboratories investigate the human, viral, and microbial genomes, their genes, and the products they encode. Molecular diagnostic tests are increasingly being used, and have supplanted numerous conventional tests, in many areas of laboratory medicine including oncology, infectious diseases, clinical chemistry, and clinical genetics. Advancements in molecular diagnostic testing will continue to improve the accuracy and speed by which we can detect microbial pathogens or analyze a patient’s genes, and is becoming an essential aspect of patient-tailored interventions and therapeutics. CDC’s Division of Laboratory Systems continues to advance the quality of clinical laboratory testing and the molecular tools used in clinical practice.

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Page last reviewed: November 5, 2019