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February 1961

Immunofluorescence in Diagnostic Bacteriology: I. Direct Identification of Hemophilus Influenzae in Smears of Cerebrospinal Fluid Sediments

Author Affiliations

From the Child Research Center of Michigan and the Children's Hospital of Michigan.

Am J Dis Child. 1961;101(2):155-159. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.04020030019004

Fluorescent antibody techniques have shown promise in recent years of becoming a valuable addition to the bacteriologic and serologic procedures of the diagnostic laboratory. They are particularly applicable to the diagnosis of those infections in which rapid identification of the etiologic agent is essential. The feasibility of using fluorescent antibodies to identify micro-organisms directly in smears or in sections of infected tissues has already been demonstrated for a variety of infectious agents.1-12 These methods seemed especially suitable for a rapid and direct identification of micro-organisms causing bacterial meningitis, where prompt initiation of specific antibiotic therapy depends on the immediate recognition of the etiologic agent.

Of the variety of bacterial species capable of causing meningitis in infancy and childhood, Hemophilus influenzae is the most frequent offender.13,14 Conventional bacteriologic methods rely on presumptive iden tification of the organisms in Gram-stained spinal fluid sediments and confirmation by cultural procedures. Gram-stained smears