The sensitivity of human embryonic kidney (HEK) cell culture and the complement fixation test (cft) in the diagnosis of adenovirus ocular infection has been compared. The optimum time for collection of specimens to obtain the best results by each test has been examined. Sixty-one (53%) of 116 patients with moderate to severe follicular conjunctivitis, clinically indicative of adenovirus infection, had serological evidence of infection or had the virus isolated from ocular swabs. Virus was isolated from 53 patients (45%) and significant antibody rises were found in 33 (27%). When each test was carried out under optimum conditions, virus was isolated from 82% of cases and serological evidence of infection found in 72%. Serological responses as detected by the CFT appeared to be inferior in infections caused by adenovirus type 7 to those encountered in infections due to adenovirus types 3 and 8.
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