In areas without bacteriology laboratory facilities, diagnosis of certain infections can be made by the fluorescent antibody technique from specimens mailed to a central laboratory. An outbreak of respiratory illness occurred in a remote area of Alaska. Nasopharyngeal swab specimens applied to microscope slides were sent to laboratories in Anchorage, Alaska, and Dallas, Tex. Positive fluorescent antibody identification of Bordetella pertussis was made in 14 specimens by the Anchorage laboratory and confirmed in nine specimens in Dallas. Good correlation was obtained in nine cases of diarrheal disease studied by fluorescent antibody staining of rectal swab specimens for enteropathogenic serotypes of Escherichia coli.
Nelson JD, Hempstead B, Tanaka R, Pauls FP. Fluorescent Antibody Diagnosis of Infections. JAMA. 1964;188(13):1121–1124. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060390023006