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J Virol Methods. 2012 Feb;179(2):409-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2011.11.006. Epub 2011 Nov 18.

Detection of highly pathogenic influenza and pandemic influenza virus in formalin fixed tissues by immunohistochemical methods.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong SAR, China.


Tissues infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses such as H5N1 and H7N7 are normally required to be fixed in formalin or paraformaldehyde before examination in order to inactivate the virus. In this study commercially available monoclonal antibodies to the influenza nucleoprotein (NP) were evaluated in order to determine which antibodies would identify positive cells in tissues fixed in formalin or paraformaldehyde. An assessment of which antigen retrieval process would unmask antigens blocked by formalin fixation was also made. Of six commercially available monoclonal antibodies tested, only one (HB65, European Veterinary Laboratories) was able to identify all formalin fixed avian, swine and human influenza virus infected tissues, and this was after pronase induced epitope retrieval. This monoclonal antibody is recommended for routine diagnostic use for the detection of influenza A infected tissues that have been fixed in formalin or paraformaldehyde.

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