A monoclonal antibody to digoxin enabled sandwich techniques to be used for the detection of hybridised digoxigenin labelled probes in cultured cells and paraffin wax sections. This system has greater flexibility than alkaline phosphatase conjugated polyclonal antidigoxigenin antibody and permits the use of alternative detector enzymes, such as horseradish peroxidase and fluorescence labels. The APAAP detection system that does not require the use of biotin can also be used in situations where endogenous biotin is a problem. The low level of background staining combined with precise substrate deposition of the amplified peroxidase system gives higher sensitivity and resolution. This permits localisation of closely adjacent chromosomal loci in interphase nuclei. The most sensitive peroxidase based digoxigenin detection system visualises two and a half to 12 copies of human papillomavirus (HPV) per nucleus. This system is also suitable for the analysis of low copy number HPV infection of cervical tissues.
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