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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
antibodies because:footnote 1
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.
Nayeri U, Thung S (2013). Congenital fetal infections. In AH DeCherney et al., eds., Current Diagnosis and Treatment Obstetrics & Gynecology, 11th ed., pp. 267-289. New York: McGraw-Hill.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMarch 16, 2017
Current as of:
March 16, 2017
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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