Microwell plate detection systems have been developed as user-defined assays (Keller etal., 1989,1990,1991;Boboetal., 1991;Kawaietal., 1993; Rapier etal., 1993; Buck, 1996; Loeffelholz et al., 1999) and as commercially available kits and analyte specific reagents (ASRs). Widely used commercial products include those marketed by Chemicon (Temecula, CA, USA), Roche Diagnostics (Indianapolis,

IN, USA), Argene, Inc (North Massapequa, NY, USA), and Prodesse, Inc. (Waukesha, WI, USA). Reagents from these companies are packaged for research use only (RUO), as ASRs, and as U.S. FDA-approved diagnostic kits. Some, such as the ChemFLASH reagents from Chemicon, are universal detection systems, marketed as RUO, which can be adapted for the detection of a wide range of PCR products. Most, however, include specific primers and probes, directed at clinically relevant pathogens. Reagents are available for the detection of Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex virus, human immunodeficiency virus, adenovirus, Bartonella species, Bordetella pertussis, calicivirus, Chlamydia pneumoniae, cytomegalovirus, Cryptosporidium, hepatitis B andC, and numerous other bacterial, viral, and parasitic pathogens. Those that are packaged as complete kits include reagents for specimen processing and PCR amplification, as well as for product detection. These commercially available systems have the advantage of preop-timized hybridization conditions and reagent formulations, as well as offering consistency of quality and the ability to compare assay performance among many users.

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