An evolutionary change in diagnostic virology.
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The earliest laboratory diagnoses of viral infections were made by microscopy just after the turn of the twentieth century. Animal and egg inoculation were the methods of choice until tissue culture and serology accelerated the field of diagnostic virology during the fifties and sixties. More rapid methods, including electron microscopy, immunoassays, and nucleic acid probes, are now available and influencing laboratory decisions and patient care. This review discusses changes in science and society which have influenced diagnostic virology and how the discipline has responded to these influences.
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