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A PCR method involving: providing a biological sample suspected of containing one or more pathogen nucleic acids; adding a plurality of PCR primers corresponding to genes found in the pathogens; and performing a polymerase chain reaction on the sample to amplify a subset of the nucleic acids that correspond to the genes. The primers include at least one primer pair for each pathogen, and the primers contain a tail sequence that is not homologous any pathogen DNA or to any background DNA in the sample. The concentration of at least one primer in the polymerase chain reaction is no more than about 100 nM.