Ebola virus, diagnosis

on 17.6.09 with 0 comments

Diagnosis during an epidemic is clinical or serological. It is significant that each of the various geographical isolates have their own antigenic structure and therefore problems can arise with serological testing, including Western Blot test. It is better if antigen can be demonstrated in blood or saliva (antigen capture ELISA) or the virus itself in tissue samples via electron microscopy. The viral RNA can be detected via a reverse transcriptase PCR (blood sample, mouth swab). Virus can be cultured in a few laboratories (e.g. on Vero cells). A new development is the use of immunohistochemistry, which can detect the virus in skin biopsy using monoclonal antibodies. A skin biopsy from a dead person can be kept in a simple but hermetically sealed container, in formalin, for later analysis. This avoids the difficulties, which are inherent in the use of a cold chain (liquid nitrogen, dry ice) needed for other diagnostic tests.

Category: Medical Subject Notes , Medicine Notes



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