Adenovirus 14 - Diagnosis

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How is an Adenovirus 14 infection diagnosed?

Diagnosis begins with a complete medical history and physical exam, especially noting if the patient has been associated with any group of people that has similar symptoms. Ad14 is one of several possible causative agents for an outbreak of respiratory problems in members of a group, like military recruits. To provide a definitive diagnosis of Ad14, blood, tissue, and/or exudates can be specifically cultured for the virus. Rising serum titers of antibodies toAd14, immunofluorescence tests for virus antigens in tissues, and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are also considered tests that provide a definitive diagnosis. However, in the vast majority of infected patients, such specific testing is not done and is not clinically necessary. It does not alter the management of the infected person. Electron microscopy shows the virus structure (Figure 1) but does not identify the strain. Supportive tests may include chest X-rays and blood tests and others that the physician deems appropriate.

Picture of colorized transmission electron micrograph of adenovirus
Figure 1: Picture of colorized transmission electron micrograph of adenovirus; SOURCE: CDC/Dr. G. William Gary, Jr.

For further information on Adenovirus structure, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK8174/.

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