Molecular Diagnostics is the latest watchword in the field of Diagnostics and is now touching all fields of medicine. It is a study of DNA/RNA of the organism and thus looks at the fundamental unit of disease prediction, detection and cure.
In infectious microbiology it confers a rapid turnaround time in the diagnosis of diseases such as tuberculosis where culture takes a long time for diagnosis. As the mutations in the drug resistance genes can be elucidated, the resistance too can be predicted in a matter of hours against days taken by the conventional microbiological methods. As viruses are difficult to culture, Molecular means remain the tool of choice for diagnosis and prognosis of viral infections like HCV, HBV and H1N1.
In the field of oncology, molecular diagnostics not only helps in predicting early onset of cancers, it helps in risk stratification and classification of the cancers leading to better management and cure. By studying the genes responsible for the disease it is now possible to predict whether the drug is going to be beneficial to the patient or not.
“It is in the Genes” – the genetic makeup of an individual can now be elucidated and is used to predict diseases such as breast cancer (BRCA1 and BRCA2), and other types of cancer. It is now possible to predict diseases such as diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases and other hereditary problems leading to prevention and better management.