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Infections in Dermatopathology: Emerging Frontiers

Abbas, Ossama MD*; Bhawan, Jag MD

The American Journal of Dermatopathology: December 2012 - Volume 34 - Issue 8 - p 789–799
doi: 10.1097/DAD.0b013e31822e8c1b
CME Article

Abstract: Significant difficulties continue to exist in the diagnosis of many infectious diseases in dermatopathology. Identifying pathogens in skin biopsies using conventional diagnostic techniques such as microscopy and tissue culture has its limitations. In recent times, molecular techniques including immunohistochemistry, polymerase chain reaction, and in situ hybridization have emerged as useful tools in the diagnosis of cutaneous infections that are challenging and ambiguous on conventional histopathology, thus improving our diagnostic accuracy. In this review, we highlight the main molecular techniques that have been used and continue to evolve in the diagnosis of mucocutaneous infectious diseases and discuss their applicability.

*Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Dermatology Department, American University of Beirut-Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon

Professor of Dermatology and Pathology, Dermatopathology Section, Dermatology Department, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.

Reprints: Jag Bhawan, MD, Head, Dermatopathology Section, Vice Chairman, Department of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine, 609 Albany Street, J-309, Boston, MA (e-mail:

All authors and staff in a position to control the content of this CME activity and their spouses/life partners (if any) have disclosed that they have no financial relationships with, or financial interests in, any commercial organizations pertaining to this educational activity.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.