Microwave fixation of rabies specimens for fluorescent antibody testing
An adaptation of the conventional procedure for fixation of brain impressions prior to rabies testing was developed using a microwave oven to fix slides in less than 1 min. A total of 2394 routine specimens were examined to evaluate the efficacy of microwave fixation of brain impressions as an aid to shortening the turnaround time for reporting. Slides were fixed for 55–60 s in a standard household microwave oven at 50% power using phosphate buffered saline supplemented with 3% Tween 20 as a fixative medium. They were then stained using the standard rabies immunofluorescent staining procedure with minor modifications. This process potentially could allow results to be reported to submitters within 1.5 h after specimens arrive in the laboratory. Microwave fixation was in complete agreement with conventional acetone fixation for detection of positive rabies specimens.