Immuno-PCR (PCR-amplified immunoassay; I-PCR) is a novel ultrasensitive method combining the versatility of ELISA with the sensitivity of nucleic acid amplification of PCR. The enormous exponential amplification power of PCR in an I-PCR assay leads to at least a 10(2)-10(4)-fold increase in sensitivity compared with an analogous ELISA. I-PCR has been used to detect many biological molecules such as proto-oncogenes, toxins, cytokines, hormones, and biomarkers for autoimmune and Alzheimer's diseases, as well as microbial antigens and antibodies, and it can be adapted as a novel diagnostic tool for various infectious and non-infectious diseases. Quantitative real-time I-PCR has the potential to become the most analytically sensitive method for the detection of proteins. The sensitivity and specificity of a real-time I-PCR assay can be enhanced further with the use of magnetic beads and nanoparticles. This review is primarily focused on the detection of potential viral, bacterial and parasitic antigens by I-PCR assay, thus enabling their application for immunological research and for early diagnosis of infectious diseases.