RE: TB growth from formalin
While I am sure that TB has been grown from FFPE tissue, I am sure that is
not the norm. If were so easily grown, we would all have TB by now, don't
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Vinnie Della Speranza [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 9:22 AM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: TB growth from formalin
> Fred and others,
> this seems like a good time to share what I have learned regarding the
> growth of TB from formalin fixed tissue stemming from a question I posted.
> There is very little information reported in the literature. It appears
> that most reports of TB growing from formalin are anecdotal and not the
> result of scientific study. I'd like to thank Tim Morken for assisting me
> with a PubMed search and forwarding along the citations he found.
> A good reference for anyone so inclined is
> Kappel, TJ et al. The Viability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in
> Formalin-Fixed Pulmonary Autopsy Tissue: Review of the Literature and
> Brief Report, Human Pathology Vol 27 No 12 (Dec 12, 1996) p1361-1364
> The authors of this paper attempted to culture TB from five formalin fixed
> cases with no success.
> A later letter to the International Journal of Tubercle Disease 2(6):
> 521-523, 1998 by Gerston, KF and Gafoor, H. stated that these authors
> attempted to grow TB from 25 formalin fixed cases. Of these, three cases,
> fixed for 4.5, 6.5 and 9 weeks respectively, did grow TB in culture.
> While this information is of some value, it emphasizes that additional
> study is needed before we can really understand what this information
> means to the way we practice. Is it possibe that an aqueous aldehyde
> fixative has difficulty fully penetrating caseous, necrotic granulomas?
> Clearly the TB organism has a talent for sequestering itself from the
> ravages of the immune system and it may well be that it is sufficiently
> isolated as to limit its exposure to a variety of external forces
> including tissue fixation.
> 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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