Detection of a Highly Conserved Region of Herpesviridae DNA by In Vitro Enzymatic Amplification: Application to the Detection of a New Human Herpesvirus
The human herpesviruses, which include herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2), cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, and varicella-zoster virus, cause infections which have significant morbidity and mortality (1–3). Established methods used for diagnosis of infection with these viruses are direct virus isolation from clinical specimens, detection of viral antigens or antibodies, or in some instances clinical criteria (1–3). Conventional culture techniques for some of these viruses require several weeks for a positive result to be detected by characteristic cytopathic effect. In certain clinical situations, virus that can grow rapidly in culture may not be detected because of the low viral titer (4). Serologic tests and antigen detection methods may not be positive at an early time point when antiviral therapy would be efficacious. Furthermore, an antibody response may be delayed or absent in the immunocompromised host, where early diagnosis is imperative (5). Rapid detection of the virus would allow the institution of early antiviral therapy and obviate the need for invasive diagnostic procedures.
KeywordsBacterial Meningitis Human Herpesvirus Herpes Simplex Encephalitis Enzymatic Amplification Herpes Encephalitis
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