Sunday, August 14, 2011


Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
• Collection of specimen, viral isolation and cell culture
Virus isolation is still the practical gold standard diagnostic test and is more sensitive than any antigen assay. HSV grows well in variety of cell lines as human fibroblasts are popular choice. CPE are usually developed after 2-3 days. HSV infected cells first become swollen and rounded (ballooning changes), with cellular damage. CPE is characteristic but not unique for HSV; changes caused by other viruses so, confirmation with DFA is recommended. Type specific monoclonal DFA can distinguish HSV1 from HSV2. Shell vial culture can detect HSV only after 1 day (Costello and Yungbluth, 2007).
• Serology
Serologic diagnosis of HSV infection is not of great clinical value. The most commonly used tests for measurement of HSV antibodies are CF, passive hemagglutination, neutralization, IF, and ELISA assays (Ashley et al., 2000).
• Molecular detection
PCR is used to detect HSV DNA. Importantly, however, diagnostic tests for such life-threatening disease as HSV encephalitis will require improvement. The experience with PCR indicates that it is a useful tool for diagnosis of HSV encephalitis (Aurelius et al., 1993). Using primers from HSV DNA sequence that was common to both HSV types 1 and 2. This study conclusively supports PCR as the diagnostic method of choice for CNS infection (Lakeman and Whitley, 1995).
Identification of HSV DNA by PCR in serum, CSF or mucocutenous lesions has greater sensitivity than culture and is particularly valuable for detection of virus in CSF and for following therapy (Kimberlin, 2004).

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