What is the role of serotyping in the diagnosis of adenovirus infections?

Updated: Apr 15, 2021
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Serotyping is generally in the domain of epidemiology and research and is not typically used in clinical practice. However, as specific syndromes are associated with specific serotypes, tests can be performed in a reference laboratory.Serotyping is available via Submitting Specimens to CDC | Infectious Diseases Laboratories | CDC.

Certain serotypes of enteric adenovirus have been seen in stool specimens using electron microscopy, but they have been difficult to isolate in routine tissue culture. These “noncultivatable” enteric adenoviruses are best detected by antigen assay. Adenovirus has been identified using electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry techniques. The isolation of enteric adenovirus infection in recipients of small bowel transplants in whom allograft damage is a risk may warrant stool cultures, antigen assays, or biopsy.

Transmission electron micrograph of adenovirus. Im Transmission electron micrograph of adenovirus. Image courtesy of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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