Chapter 10.1 : Laboratory Diagnosis of Viral Infections: Introduction

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Virology laboratories may use any of multiple methodologies for the analysis of specimens, including virus culture, antigen detection methods, nucleic acid detection and characterization assays, cytopathology and histopathology, and serologic methods, to aid clinicians in the diagnosis of viral infections. The method of choice is influenced by several variables, including the nature of the suspected virus, the availability of test reagents and equipment, the level of knowledge and training of personnel, and the intended purpose of the assay. The latter may include detecting active or latent infection, providing prognostic indicators of disease progression or severity, or monitoring response to therapy. No single test method will satisfy all needs; therefore, laboratory scientists must carefully assess multiple factors in determining appropriate test menus for their facilities. These will include aspects such as the patient population and the medical services being provided by the facility, as well as the personnel, equipment, available funding, and other resources of the laboratory. Furthermore, a thorough knowledge of the regulations, requirements, and expectations regarding validation and verification of new assays and test systems and the quality assurance procedures for their maintenance and the general operation of the facility is essential. Additionally, an understanding of the natural history and pathogenesis of viral infections is needed for the appropriate utility of assays and the interpretation of results.

Citation: Leber A. 2016. Laboratory Diagnosis of Viral Infections: Introduction, p 10.1.1-10.1.10. In Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818814.ch10.1
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Table 10.1–1

Clinical manifestations of human viral infections

Citation: Leber A. 2016. Laboratory Diagnosis of Viral Infections: Introduction, p 10.1.1-10.1.10. In Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818814.ch10.1
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Table 10.1–2

Zoonotic viruses associated with human infection

Citation: Leber A. 2016. Laboratory Diagnosis of Viral Infections: Introduction, p 10.1.1-10.1.10. In Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818814.ch10.1

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