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Although immunoassays have long served as the standard in the field of diagnostics, the advent of nucleic acid amplification technologies allows for a new array of diagnostic applications. NASBA, nucleic acid sequence-based amplification, is one such technology that is highly suited for the amplification of RNA. As such, NASBA is applied readily as a diagnostic tool for infectious diseases, particularly for RNA viruses, such as retroviruses. The development and application of NASBA technology as a qualitative and quantitative diagnostic system for HIV-1 are described in this article.
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