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morphologic diagnoses/electron microscope

Jul 20, 2003

Doctor Holodniy,

What is "morphologic diagnosis (of retroviruses) by electron microscope" and how sensitive a diagnostic method is it? (percent of false negatives). I read this phrase in a context where the writer suggested that it might enable viral detection where other methods had failed. When is this method used and can it really detect retroviruses/subtypes that viral load tests may miss?

Many thanks.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Most all clinical labs would NOT have an electron microscope, which is very expensive and requires special training to use. This type of microscope can magnify things in blood or tissue several thousand times, such that HIV viral particles can actually be visilized. It will not distinguish between subtypes.

Red Blood Cell Count
can in vl and cd4 counts

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