Immunohistochemistry (IHC)

IHC methods are sensitive and specific for the detection of rabies virus antigen in formalin-fixed tissues. Tissues fixed in formalin must first be processed by routine histologic methods, embedded in paraffin, and sectioned to formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded slides. Rabies virus antigen is detected using specific anti-rabies monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies. IHC testing is more sensitive and specific than histologic staining methods, such as hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and Sellers stains.

Positive IHC; rabies-infected neronal cells of the brain

Rabies-infected neronal cells of the brain with intracytoplasmic inclusions. The red stain indicates the presence of rabies virus antigen using the Streptavidin-biotin complex staining method.

Imaging showing negative IHC

Brain tissue testing negative for rabies by the IHC method, meaning no rabies virus antigen was detected.