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Negri Body from CDC Rabies page

Last updated on Thursday, February 5 2009 by jdmiles

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Negri Body from CDC Rabies page
In 1903, Dr. Adelchi Negri reported the identification of what he believed to be the etiologic agent of rabies, the Negri body. In his report, he described Negri bodies as round or oval inclusions within the cytoplasm of nerve cells of animals infected with rabies. Negri bodies may vary in size from 0.25 to 27 µm. They are found most frequently in the pyramidal cells of Ammon's horn, and the Purkinje cells of the cerebellum. They are also found in the cells of the medulla and various other ganglia. Negri bodies can also be found in the neurons of the salivary glands, tongue, or other organs. Staining with Mann's, giemsa, or Sellers stains can permit differentiation of rabies inclusions from other intracellular inclusions. With these stains, Negri bodies appear magenta in color and have small (0.2 µm to 0.5 µm), dark-blue interior basophilic granules.
The presence of Negri bodies is variable. Histologic staining for Negri bodies is neither as sensitive nor as specific as other tests. Some experimentally-infected cases of rabies display Negri bodies in brain tissue; others do not. Histologic examination of tissues from clinically rabid animals show Negri bodies in about 50% of the samples; in contrast, the dFA test shows rabies antigen in nearly 100% of the samples. In other cases, non-rabid tissues have shown inclusions indistinquishable from Negri bodies. Because of these problems, the presence of Negri bodies should not be considered diagnostic for rabies.
Image and description courtesy of CDC.

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