Review articles on rapid virus diagnosis must be incomplete as the subject is still evolving rapidly. It has been intended to show the techniques which are currently in use and the advantages they supply not only to clinicians but also to virologists, pathologists and epidemiologists. The new techniques mentioned, e.g. immunoperoxidase, may have advantages but need much more detailed evaluation over the next few years before they can take their place alongside those of electron microscopy and immunofluorescence. Diagnostic techniques are not in competition with one another and ultimately, each technique will have its optimal place in diagnosis which will depend on the virus, the site of infection, facilities of the laboratory and lastly on the personal preference of the individual worker.


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