A method for detecting a specific polynucleotide sequence in a material is disclosed. The method includes exposing said material to an oligonucleotide primer having a sequence complementary to part of said specific polynucleotide sequence wherein said primer binds to part of said polynucleotide sequence when present in said material. Primer bound to the polynucleotide sequence is extended wherein any extended primer includes a detectable element and/or a separation element. Any extended primer is then separated into a fraction wherein said fraction does not have detectable element not included in said extended primer. One then determines whether any extended primer is present in said fraction by assaying said fraction for said extended primer wherein the presence of said extended primer is indicative of the presence of the specific polynucleotide sequence in said material and the absence of said extended primer is indicative of the presence of the specific polynucleotide sequences in said material and the absence of said extended primer in said fraction is indicative of the absence of the specific polynucleotide sequence in said material.