Path West, Perth, Australia

Presentation Abstract

When the unexpected occurs; TTF-1 a new marker for CMV?

Working in a diagnostic histopathology laboratory can be at times mundane and tedious. With repetition and high workloads we can occasionally make simple errors. Sometimes these errors can lead to unexpected discoveries. When staining a sample with the Thyroid transcription factor 1 (TTF-1) antibody in our laboratory an incorrect control slide was accidentally used. During routine quality control check it was discovered that this tumour marker seemed to stain the cytomegalovirus (CMV) infected cells on the aberrant control. To determine if this was a legitimate phenomenon, a cohort of known CMV positive cases was sourced and stained with the TTF-1 antibody. Close analysis of this cohort showed that TTF-1 not only reliably stained CMV infected cells but it seemed to also stain some infected cells which had not been picked up by the CMV antibody. To explore this further a new dual stain was created to view both antibodies in a single section allowing direct comparison of the cells stained. With this in mind an additional cohort was created that consisted of cases with suspected CMV that had little or no convincing staining. The results showed that the dual stain could improve CMV IHC sensitivity and sparked an investigation into why TTF-1 stains CMV infected cells.





  • Master of Laboratory Medicine (Anatomical Pathology) University of Western Australia

  • Bachelor of Science (Medical Science) Curtin University


  • Complex cut-up

  • Immunohistochemisrty

  • HER2 In-situ Hybridisation


  • Vice Chair Western Australian Histology Group

  • Laboratory Medicine Course Advisory Committee Murdoch University