Intracellular pathogen evidence by real-time PCR*
The intracellular real-time Time RT-PCR, which is unique for our lab, records intact pathogen DNA within circulating cells. The common method by way of determination of antibiotic molecules using an antibody titre or free DNA in the serum, however, can only document acute infection. It does not record intact pathogens that may continue to be present in the intracellular space after the acute infection has passed. This is important, however, since the pathogens are shielded from the immune system in the intracellular space, and can therefore act as Trojan horses.
Special efforts from the immune system are needed to fight the intracellular infection. The presence of intracellular pathogens has a risk of later incorporation/integration of pathogenic DNA in the genomics sequences, e.g. of epithelial or lymphatic cells. Whether this takes place in the promoter region of a gene, or affects other control elements of the cell, e.g. Epstein-Barr viruses can take on properties that transform/make them malignant, depends on the pathogen. They are therefore considered co-carcinogens. Co-carcinogens are substances and unspecific damage (such as inflammations or injuries) that increase the carcinogenic effect of a carcinogen without being carcinogenic themselves. In our practice clinic, we use various methods against such intracellular pathogens.
Intracellular detection of intact pathogen DNA takes place in our lab by real-time RT-PCR.