Author(s): Jogai S, Radotra BD, Banerjee AK
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Abstract Rabies is a communicable disease that is almost always fatal. In its classic form, rabies is well recognized, but cases presenting with a paralytic illness mimic Landre's Guillain-Barre syndrome and in such cases the diagnosis remains in doubt. This problem is further compounded when the history of dogbite is not forthcoming. At autopsy rabies can be diagnosed by subjecting fresh tissue to virologic investigations or examining formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue sections for the presence of characteristic inclusions; that is, the Negri bodies. However, these inclusions are not present in all cases. Hence, the need arises for a better method for diagnosis. The present study utilized immunohistochemistry as a diagnostic tool using both monoclonal and polyclonal antirabies antibodies in 20 cases of rabies encephalomyelitis. The diagnosis of rabies could be confirmed in 17 cases (85\%) based on neuropathologic findings alone. In contrast, immunohistochemistry yielded positive results in all cases. Moreover, the amount of rabies viral antigen was much more abundant than could be expected from the histopathologic findings. Thus immunohistochemistry is a rapid, safe, sensitive and specific technique for the diagnosis of rabies.
This article was published in Neuropathology
and referenced in Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology