Since the pioneering studies of Coons1,2 describing the use of antibody labeled with fluorescein, many virus studies have employed these techniques. In 1956, Liu3 used this method for the diagnosis of influenza, and in 1959 Biegeleisen4 found that the fluorescent herpes simplex antibody staining of smears from the base of vesicles correlated well with isolations of the virus on chorioallantoic membranes.5
The diagnosis of viral infection by this method is more rapid than by present isolation techniques. In addition, viruses such as influenza, may lose their infectivity while retaining many of their antigenic properties, and the herpes simplex virus itself has been shown to pass through an "eclipse" phase where isolation is difficult.6 It was therefore hoped that, in addition to being a rapid method of virus detection, the demonstration of latent or incomplete forms of virus might permit diagnostic accuracy even though virus isolation
KAUFMAN HE. The Diagnosis of Corneal Herpes Simplex Infection by Fluorescent Antibody Staining. Arch Ophthalmol. 1960;64(3):382–384. doi:10.1001/archopht.1960.01840010384009
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