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Specific viral laboratory diagnosis of primary Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) infection is usually based on antibody-detection assays. However, molecular detection is also considered the reference standard assay for diagnosis of central nervous system infections and of most cases of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). One-step or nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has rapidly replaced immunological assays based on virus-specific Ig antibodies for the laboratory diagnosis of Herpesvirus infections, even if serological methods are considered an additional tool for defining clinical diagnosis. In this article, we will present a rapid, sensitive and robust molecular tool for the viral detection of EBV (EBNA-1) within tissue specimens by making use of in situ PCR (IS-PCR).
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