April 1980

Diagnosis of Viral Infections: The Role of the Clinical Laboratory

Author Affiliations

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology Department of Pediatrics University of Minnesota Health Science Center Minneapolis, MN 55455


edited by David A. Lennette, Steven Specter, and Kenneth D. Thompson, 254 pp, Baltimore, University Park Press, 1979.

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(4):436. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.04490010084034

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This little volume is a smorgasbord, with something for everyone's intellect to nibble on! It is a compilation of papers presented at a symposium entitled "Diagnosis of Viral Infections: The Role of the Clinical Laboratory," held in Philadelphia, Nov 9 to 10, 1978.

The practical role of the diagnostic virology laboratory is outlined at the outset in three separate chapters devoted to the hospital laboratory, the state laboratory, and the federal reference laboratory. The final chapter, "An Infectious Disease Viewpoint of Diagnostic Virology," is a companion piece to the introductory material. These chapters are particularly well written and extremely practical for pediatricians, as well as for laboratory scientists. Tables are provided that show the proportion of positive viral isolations from all clinical material. Results from Rochester, NY, Seattle, and Tucson, Ariz, indicate that it is possible to find a specific viral cause in 20% to 40% of the cases studied.