Diagnostic Virology is performed for a variety of reasons, ranging
from the diagnosis of an acute illness to the determination of
asymptomatic carrier state.
The methods used to diagnose viral infections are based on the
fact that many viruses produce characteristic changes in cells
of the host and that most of them induce the production of infectious
viruses or viral antigens in body tissues, secretions and excretions.
This in turn is usually followed by the production of antibodies,
which are specific for the virus and its associated antigens.