Folia Microbiologica

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 88–101

The role of electron microscopy in the rapid diagnosis of viral infections — review

Review

DOI: 10.1007/s12223-010-0015-8

Cite this article as:
Schramlová, J., Arientová, S. & Hulínská, D. Folia Microbiol (2010) 55: 88. doi:10.1007/s12223-010-0015-8

Abstract

Electron microscopy (EM) allows fast visualization of viruses in a wide range of clinical specimens. Viruses are grouped into families based on their morphology. Viruses from various families look distinctly and these morphological variances are the basis for identification of viruses by EM. The identification to the family level is often sufficient for the clinician or recognition of an unknown infectious agent. Diagnostic EM has two advantages over enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and nucleic acid amplification tests. After a simple and fast negative staining, EM allows fast morphological identification and differential diagnosis of infectious agents contained in the specimen without the need for special considerations and/or reagents. Nevertheless, EM has the disadvantage of being unsuitable as a screening method.

Abbreviations

CSF

cerebrospinal fluid

ELISA

enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

EM

electron microscopy

IEM

immune electron microscopy

NAT

nucleic acid amplification (techniques)

PBS

phosphate-buffered saline

PCR

polymerase chain reaction

PTA

phosphotungstic acid

SARS

severe acute respiratory syndrome

SPIEM

solid phase immune electron microscopy

NRL/ELM

National Reference Laboratory For Direct Diagnosis Of Viruses, Borreliae And Foreign Cell In Clinical Specimens

Copyright information

© Institute of Microbiology, v.v.i, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Public Health100 42Czech Republic

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