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Enteric Adenoviruses: Detection, Replication, And Significance

M Retter, P J Middleton, J S Tam, M Petric

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Adenoviruses can be demonstrated readily in the stools of pediatric gastroenteritis patients by electron microscopy or counterimmunoelectrophoresis, but in 45% of these cases the virus will not grow in cell culture. Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy can be used to detect nongrowing strains of adenovirus; these strains have a unique single-cell fluorescence pattern. Hematoxylin and eosin staining reveals adenovirus-like inclusion bodies in the same distribution as fluorescent cells. Pretreatment of nongrowing adenovirus with convalescent-phase patient serum neutralized its ability to infect the cell culture and produce fluorescent cells. Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy compared favorably with electron microscopy in demonstrating virus in the stools of patients.