RE: does TB grow out of formalin fixed tissue?

From:"Bartlett, Jeanine"

I spoke with one of our pathologists and she tends to agree with you.  She said that she thought only prions could survive formalin fixation.  Why don't you look over the CDC biohazard web sites and see if you can find something in print?

Jeanine Bartlett, HT(ASCP)
Centers for Disease Control
Infectious Disease Pathology Activity
1600 Clifton Rd., N.E.  MS-G32
Atlanta, GA  30333


From: Vinnie Della Speranza []
Sent: Wednesday, August 28, 2002 11:15 AM
Subject: does TB grow out of formalin fixed tissue?

one of our pathologists indicated to me that she is certain that TB has been grown from formalin fixed tissue. She also believes this is true for HIV. This information was offered to contradict a statement I made to a resident that formalin fixation neutralizes blood borne pathogens.
I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who can speak to this issue ( efficacy of formalin  to neutralize infectious organisms, especifically on the infectious potential of TB, HIV and Hep C)  with some authority.
Of course there is always the possibility that tissues had not been adequately exposed to formalin which permitted some organisms to escape its effects and then grow in culture, as for example, when large organs are dropped in formalin without breadloafing.
appreciate your thoughts
Vinnie Della Speranza
Manager for Anatomic Pathology Services
Medical University of South Carolina
165 Ashley Avenue  Suite 309
Charleston, SC 29425
Ph: 843-792-6353
fax: 843-792-8974

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