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Journal Articles Diagnostic Pathology Year : 2022

Immunohistochemical diagnosis of human infectious diseases: a review


Immunohistochemistry (IHC) using monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies is a useful diagnostic method for detecting pathogen antigens in fixed tissues, complementing the direct diagnosis of infectious diseases by PCR and culture on fresh tissues. It was first implemented in a seminal publication by Albert Coons in 1941. Main body Of 14,198 publications retrieved from the PubMed, Google, Google Scholar and Science Direct databases up to December 2021, 230 were selected for a review of IHC techniques, protocols and results. The methodological evolutions of IHC and its application to the diagnosis of infectious diseases, more specifically lice-borne diseases, sexually transmitted diseases and skin infections, were critically examined. A total of 59 different pathogens have been detected once in 22 different tissues and organs; and yet non-cultured, fastidious and intracellular pathogens accounted for the vast majority of pathogens detected by IHC. Auto-IHC, incorporating patient serum as the primary antibody, applied to diseased heart valves surgically collected from blood culture-negative endocarditis patients, detected unidentified Gram-positive cocci and microorganisms which were subsequently identified as Coxiella burnetii , Bartonella quintana , Bartonella henselae and Tropheryma whipplei . The application of IHC to ancient tissues dated between the ends of the Ptolemaic period to over 70 years ago, have also contributed to paleomicrobiology diagnoses. Conclusion IHC plays an important role in diagnostic of infectious diseases in tissue samples. Paleo-auto-IHC derived from auto-IHC, is under development for detecting non-identified pathogens from ancient specimens.
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hal-03663700 , version 1 (24-10-2023)





Hamadou Oumarou Hama, Gérard Aboudharam, Rémi Barbieri, Hubert Lepidi, Michel Drancourt. Immunohistochemical diagnosis of human infectious diseases: a review. Diagnostic Pathology, 2022, 17 (1), pp.17. ⟨10.1186/s13000-022-01197-5⟩. ⟨hal-03663700⟩
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