Chapter 70 : Herpes Simplex Virus

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Human infections with herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 (HSV-1) and HSV-2 are ubiquitous throughout the world. The most frequent manifestation of primary HSV-1 infection is gingovostomatitis in young children, with pharyngitis occurring more commonly in adolescents. The seroprevalence of HSV-2 has increased more than 30% in recent decades, and the majority of seropositive persons are unaware that they are infected. Humans produce antibody to the structural components of the virus, the envelope, capsid, and internal proteins, as well as soluble nonvirion antigens specified by the virus. The only human herpesvirus that shows significant cross-reactivity with HSV-1 and HSV-2 is varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Paired serum samples from patients with recent VZV infection who have preexisting HSV antibody may sometimes show a rise in the level of antibodies to HSV-1 and HSV-2 in nonspecific tests. It is advisable to use several different HSV-susceptible cell lines, such as HEp-2, Vero-E6, and RD, to maximize the chance for successful culture. Enzyme immunoassay (EIA), indirect hemagglutination assay, immunoblotting, immunofluorescence assay (IFA), and the neutralization (NT) test have had the widest application for serodiagnosis and serosurveys. Radioimmunoassays are infrequently used because current EIA and immunoblotting procedures fulfill the same purpose and avoid the problem of using and disposing of radioisotopes. In studies directly contrasting the performance of PCR with culture, direct fluorescent-antibody assay, and other techniques, PCR is invariably more sensitive and at least comparably specific.

Citation: Schmid D. 2006. Herpes Simplex Virus, p 626-630. In Detrick B, Hamilton R, Folds J (ed), Manual of Molecular and Clinical Laboratory Immunology, 7th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815905.ch70
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