Establishment of an immunohistochemical method to detect West Nile virus in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues
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With the emergence of West Nile virus in Northern America and the re-emergence ofthe virus in Europe, the relevance of West Nile virus as a pathogen has beenunderlined. In particular the quick spread on the American continent and the increasein virulence, compared to previous appearances, have lead to healthcare concerns.Reliable and accurate laboratory methods to detect this virus are thereforenecessary. One of them is immunohistochemistry, which is an important instrument inresearch and histological pathology. In order to retrieve reproducible and reliableresults from tests, it is of utmost importance to work in a fixed order, or protocol.Protocols are also important since no two laboratories are the same in theirpreferences and working habits. The aim of this study was to establish such aprotocol, in this case for the detection of West Nile virus in tissues.For the establishment of this protocol, a series of experiments were performed, inwhich different variables were tested, eventually resulting in a protocol that producessatisfactory results and can easily be reproduced. After the establishment of the protocol, several avian, equine and wildlife cases of a possible West Nile virus infection were tested. However, no positive cases were found.