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North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services  -  Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System

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Immunohistochemistry is a diagnostic tool that uses antibody-antigen interactions to detect the presence of infectious agents or cell markers in formalin-fixed tissue samples.  Immunohistochemistry is a sensitive and specific test that is a valuable adjunct to histopathologic evaluation of necropsies and surgical pathology samples.  A major advantage to immunohistochemistry is that infectious agents can be placed in a lesion, thus cross reactions with vaccines or incidental exposure can be ruled out.  In addition tests are performed on fixed tissue, so that sample degradation in transit can be less of a factor than tests relying on fresh tissue.

Infectious agents available include viruses, bacteria and protozoal organisms.

Cell markers are used to enhance characterization of neoplasia such as differentiating B and T cell lymphoma or to differentiate preneoplastic inflammatory conditions from neoplasia as in cases of feline inflammatory bowel disease that are suspected to have progressed to alimentary lymphoma.

Immunohistochemistry can also be used to diagnose persistent infection with Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus in the absence of clinical disease.

Additional information on tests offered and recommendations for sample submission are available in the Lab User Guideor call 919 733-3986 for consultation with a pathologist.


Dr. Karen Post , Director
Rollins Laboratory
2101 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 733-3986