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Volume 5, Number 6—December 1999
Letter

Specimen Collection for Electron Microscopy

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To the Editor: We read with interest the excellent article "Smallpox: an attack scenario," by Tara O'Toole (1). At a critical point in the scenario, the author states, "The infectious disease specialist takes a swab specimen from the … skin lesions… and requests that it be examined by an experienced technician…. electron microscopy shows an orthopoxvirus consistent with variola." In fact, swab specimens of skin lesions for the detection by electron microscopy of viruses such as pox and herpes viruses are far from ideal; the chances of viral detection would be greatly enhanced if a skin scraping were provided to the electron microscopist.

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J.A. Marshall and M.G. Catton

Author affiliations: Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, North Melbourne, Australia

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References

  1. O'Toole  T. Smallpox: an attack scenario. Emerg Infect Dis. 1999;5:5406. DOIPubMed

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid0506.990626

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Table of Contents – Volume 5, Number 6—December 1999

Page created: December 16, 2010
Page updated: December 16, 2010
Page reviewed: December 16, 2010
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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