PCR testing conditions, aerosol contamination
Sep 18, 2000
Hi, One of my colleagues maintains that PCR must be done in three separate rooms, all with positive air pressure, and that electrophoresis of the amplicon must be done in a fourth room that has negative air pressure. This is all necessary to prevent contamination of the PCR procedures through aerosolized amplicons that might be generated through pipetting, etc. Also, he maintains that PCR done on other floors of our building can contribute to the contamination. Can you explain all of this to me??
Response from Dr. Holodniy
They are correct on one level. The steps to perform PCR, must be done in separate areas with separate equipment. We and many other labs do not have the physical space to have separate rooms. We do however have separate areas, etc. The simple reason for this is that PCR generates billions of copies of the original genetic material. PCR products can indeed be aerosolized and contaminate counters, equipment, even the technician's clothes. The aerosols are not likely to contaminate other labs on other floors through the air, but likely from technicians moving between labs. We have had great success in not having contamination by being very careful in the areas where we are handling the different stages.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.