Professors Bustin & Heneghan on PCR Test Cycle Thresholds (please read the video description)




Published on Oct 18, 2020

Source for the interview with Prof. Stephen Bustin:

An essential problem that many PCR tests have is called the “cycle quantification” (Cq), also know as the “cycle threshold” (Ct), these two different terms are explained here:

The Cq/Ct value specifies how many cycles of DNA replication are required to detect a real signal from biological samples. As it says in the MIQE guidelines ( "Cq values higher than 40 are suspect because of the implied low efficiency and generally should not be reported"

MIQE stands for “Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments”, a set of guidelines that describe the minimum information necessary for evaluating publications on Real-Time PCR, also called quantitative PCR, or qPCR.

The inventor of the PCR test himself, Kary Banks Mullis, agreed, when he stated:

"If you have to go more than 40 cycles to amplify a single-copy gene, there is something seriously wrong with your PCR.”

Source for the above quote:

The MIQE guidelines have been developed under the guidance of Stephen A. Bustin, Professor of Molecular Medicine, a world-renowned expert on quantitative PCR and author of the book A-Z of Quantitative PCR which has been called “the bible of qPCR. (

According to Bustin, a Cq in the 20s to 30s should be aimed at and there is concern regarding the reliability of the results for any Cq over 35.

If the Cq value gets too high, it becomes difficult to distinguish real signal from background, for example due to reactions of primers and fluorescent probes, and hence there is a higher probability of false positives.

Read more here:


Read more about the many problems there are with the PCR test, here:

Read more about the many problems there are with the PCR test, here:

Also this article:


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