In situ hybridization: Detecting viral nucleic acid in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples

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In situ hybridization is a method for detecting specific nucleic acid sequences within individual cells. This technique permits visualization of viral nucleic acid or gene expression in individual cells within their histologic context. In situ hybridization is based on the complementary binding of a labeled nucleic acid probe to complementary sequences in cells or tissue sections, followed by visualization of target sequences within the cells. It has been used widely for the detection of viral nucleic acid sequences within individual cells. This review will define the technical approaches of in situ hybridization and its current application to detect viral nucleic acids within formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples, with special reference to the Epstein-Barr virus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-661
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Molecular Diagnostics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004



  • Formalin-fixed
  • In situ hybridization
  • Nucleic acid
  • Paraffin-embedded tissues
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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