January 12, 2022
Journal Article

End user perspectives on using quantitative real-time PCR and genomic sequencing in the field


Quantitative real-time PCR and genomic sequencing have become mainstays for performing molecular detection of biological threat agents in the field. There are notional assessments of the benefits, disadvantages, and challenges that each of these technologies offer based on findings in the literature. However, direct comparison between these two technologies in context of field-forward operations is lacking. Most market surveys, whether published in print form or provided online, are directed to product manufacturers who can address their respective specifications and operations. One method for comparing these technologies is surveying end users who are best suited for discussing operational capabilities, as they have hands-on experience with state-of-the-art molecular detection platforms and protocols. These end-users include operators in military-defense and first response, and various research scientists in the public sector such as government and service laboratories, private sector, and civil society such as academia and non-profit organizations performing method development and executing these protocols in the field. Our objective was to initiate a survey specific to end-users and their feedback. We developed a questionnaire that asked respondents to 1) determine what technologies they currently use; 2) identify the settings where the technologies are used whether lab-based or field-forward; and, 3) rate the technologies according to a set list of criteria. Of particular interest are assessments of sensitivity, specificity, reproducibility, scalability, portability, and discovery power. This article summarizes the findings from the end-user perspective, highlighting technical and operational challenges.

Published: January 12, 2022


Parker K., J.E. Forman, G.T. Bonheyo, B. Knight, R.A. Bartholomew, R.M. Ozanich, and K.B. Yeh. 2022. "End user perspectives on using quantitative real-time PCR and genomic sequencing in the field." Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease 7, no. 1:Art. No. 6. PNNL-SA-169370. doi:10.3390/tropicalmed7010006