Editorial (Science, Public Health Policy & the Law): Use of Arbitrary Cycle Threshold (Ct) Values in COVID-19 Virus Detection Must End

“An elementary problem with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – recognized at its inception – is that non-specific binding of PCR primers to arbitrary targets will cause off-target amplification. This is true whether the target sequence is a gene sequence within a single individual, and it is true when the target is viral, such as the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome in a clinical sample. PCR is used routinely to produce enough copies, or amplicons, of the target nucleotide molecule so the sequence can be determined using either Sanger sequencing or Next-Generation sequencing…”


Published by markskidmore

Mark Skidmore is Professor of Economics at Michigan State University where he holds the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy. His research focuses on topics in public finance, regional economics, and the economics of natural disasters. Mark created the Lighthouse Economics website and blog to share economic research and information relevant for navigating tumultuous times.

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