The use of in situ hybridization in studies of viral disease

  • Adrienne L. Morey
  • Kenneth A. Fleming


In situ hybridization has a number of features which make it particularly suitable for use in studies of viral disease. Not only can it confirm the presence of specific viral DNA or RNA sequences in a range of histological preparations, but by demonstrating the precise tissue, cellular and subcellular location of the virus it can correlate the presence of a virus with its pathological effects and provide insight into the mechanisms involved in virus-host cell interactions. Such information is necessarily lost when the more conventional technique of dot (filter) hybridization of extracted nucleic acid, or the more recently described polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are used to detect viral sequences. As well as localizing viral genomes in the episomal or integrated state, in situ detection of viral mRNA is possible. This can provide valuable information about the level of viral gene expression and sites of viral protein synthesis. In addition, in situ hybridization can be combined sequentially with immunohistological labelling of either cellular antigens (to identify unequivocally the cell types infected) or viral antigens (to determine whether viral nucleic acid is being translated into protein products), thus increasing the amount of information available from a given sample of tissue.


Human Papilloma Virus Viral Genome Hybridization Study Hepatitis Delta Virus Viral Nucleic Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrienne L. Morey
    • 1
  • Kenneth A. Fleming
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Pathology and BacteriologyJohn Radcliffe HospitalHeadington, Oxford

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