Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry for Eastern equine encephalitis virus and West Nile virus in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded brain tissue of horses.

Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI 48910, USA.
Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation: official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc (Impact Factor: 1.23). 03/2012; 24(2):333-8. DOI: 10.1177/1040638711435230
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridization (ISH) can be used either to detect or to differentiate between Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) and West Nile virus (WNV) within formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) brain tissue of horses. To compare the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of ISH and IHC, FFPE brain tissue from 20 EEEV-positive horses and 16 WNV-positive horses were tested with both EEEV and WNV oligoprobes and EEEV- and WNV-specific antibodies. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for detection of EEEV and WNV was used as the gold standard to confirm infection. All horses that tested positive for EEEV by RT-PCR also tested positive by IHC and ISH, except for 1 case that was false-negative by ISH. In contrast, all horses that tested positive for WNV by RT-PCR tested negative by IHC and only 2 horses tested positive by ISH. No false-positives were detected with either method for both viruses. Both IHC and ISH are highly specific and sensitive diagnostic methods to detect EEEV in equine FFPE brain tissues, although neither appear effective for the diagnosis of WNV in equine neurologic cases.

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    ABSTRACT: West Nile virus (WNV) infects neurons and leads to encephalitis, paralysis, and death in humans, animals, and birds. We investigated the mechanism by which neuronal injury occurs after WNV infection. Neurons in the anterior horn of the spinal cords of paralyzed mice exhibited a high degree of WNV infection, leukocyte infiltration, and degeneration. Because it was difficult to distinguish whether neuronal injury was caused by viral infection or by the immune system response, a novel tissue culture model for WNV infection was established in neurons derived from embryonic stem (ES) cells. Undifferentiated ES cells were relatively resistant to WNV infection. After differentiation, ES cells expressed neural antigens, acquired a neuronal phenotype, and became permissive for WNV infection. Within 48 h of exposure to an exceedingly low multiplicity of infection (5 x 10(-4)), 50% of ES cell-derived neurons became infected, producing nearly 10(7) PFU of infectious virus per ml, and began to die by an apoptotic mechanism. The establishment of a tractable virus infection model in ES cell-derived neurons facilitates the study of the molecular basis of neurotropism and the mechanisms of viral and immune-mediated neuronal injury after infection by WNV or other neurotropic pathogens.
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    ABSTRACT: An immunohistochemical (IHC) assay was developed for the detection of eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) virus antigen in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. All cases of EEE diagnosed at the Michigan State University Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory from 1991 through 1994 were evaluated. The diagnosis was based on histopathologic examination of the brain and confirmatory virus, isolation. Sections of cerebrum from 26 equids and 5 birds were assessed by IHC. Histologically normal brain tissues from 2 horses and 1 pheasant and brain tissues from 2 cases of equine neurologic disease with diagnoses other than EEE served as negative controls. The IHC assay was based on standard streptavidin-biotin technology, using a commercially available kit and a monospecific polyclonal primary antibody preparation derived from murine ascitic fluid. Nineteen of 20 equids and all 5 birds positive by histopathology and virus isolation were positive for EEE virus antigen by IHC. Three equids with histologic lesions compatible with a diagnosis of EEE but negative by virus isolation also were negative for virus antigen by IHC. In 3 other equids, histopathology and IHC were positive for EEE, but virus isolation was not attempted because of contamination of the brain specimen. The IHC assay of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded brain tissues for EEE virus antigen is a rapid, effective test for confirming a histopathologic diagnosis of EEE, and assay results correlate well with virus isolation results.
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