Detection of herpes simplex virus (HSV) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), has proven to be the most specific, rapid and sensitive means to diagnose anogenital and central nervous system infections. Studies show the range of sensitivity of PCR detection for HSV DNA to be from 75% to 100% with a specificity of 100%.
By utilizing PCR, HSV has been demonstrated in asymptomatic patients on 28% of days tested versus 8.1% by viral isolation. More importantly, asymptomatic shedding was shown on 60% of days where HSV DNA was measured by PCR. This specific detection by PCR has a significant impact on patient counseling because asymptomatic shedding of HSV DNA can occur to a much broader extent than previously thought.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
- HSV lesion MPLN path. collection kit
- 2.0 mL whole blood EDTA
- 5 mm^3 fresh or frozen tissue
- Swab from any site MPLN pathogen collection kit or viral transport media
- 2.0 mL (min. 1.0 mL) CSF sterile container, DO NOT DILUTE
- 2.0 mL (min. 1.0 mL) Cervical cells, ThinPrep® PAP solution or SurePath™ Test Pack solution
- 1.0 mL amniotic fluid, sterile container, unspun
- MPLN pathology collection kit, 18-25°C, ambient
- Whole blood, 4°C, stable 96 hours
- Fresh tissue, 4°C, stable 96 hours: Frozen tissue, -20°C, freeze immediately
- Swab from any site, 4°C, stable 96 hours
- CSF, 4°C, stable 72 hours; -20°C, freeze within 4 hours
- Cervical cells, 18-25°C, stable 21 days
- 1 mL amniotic fluid, 18-25°C, stable 48 hours
Storage & Handling
- MPLN pathology collection kit, ship ambient
- Whole blood, ship with cool/refrigerated pack. Separate cool/refrigerated pack from specimen
- Fresh Tissue, MPLN transport medium or equivalent (i.e. RPMI, Hanks, M4 media), ship with cool/refrigerated pack. Separate cool/refrigerated pack from specimen
- Frozen tissue, MPLN transport medium or equivalent (i.e. RPMI, Hanks, M4 media), ship with dry ice
- Swab from any site MPLN pathogen collection kit or viral transport media, ship with cool/refrigerated pack. Separate from specimen
- CSF fresh, sterile container, do not dilute, cool/refrigerated pack; Refrigerated CSF MUST be shipped within 24 hours of collection
- CSF frozen, sterile container, do not dilute, freeze within 4 hours, ship on dry ice
- Cervical cells, ThinPrep PAP solution or SurePath Test Pack solution, ship ambient
- Amniotic fluid, sterile container, unspun, ship ambient
Causes for Rejection
Improper anticoagulant; Improper shipping media; Recommended temperatures exceeded; Age of specimen exceeded
Negative: HSV DNA not detected (
< 100 copies/mL)
Positive: HSV DNA detected (>
/= 100 copies/mL)
Intended for use to assist in the confirmation of a diagnosis of a HSV-1 and/or HSV-2 infection.
- Salvaggio MR (2009). Herpes Simplex.Medscape.
- Kriebs JM. (2008). Understanding herpes simplex virus: Transmission, diagnosis, and considerations in pregnancy management. J Midwifery Womens Health. 53:202–208.
ThinPrep is a registered trademark of Cytyc Corportation.
SurePath is a trademark of Becton, Dickinson and Company.