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J Clin Microbiol. 2007 May;45(5):1618-20. Epub 2007 Feb 28.

Optimizing PCR positivity criterion for detection of herpes simplex virus DNA on skin and mucosa.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington, 600 Broadway, Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98122, USA.


In 1997, we developed a PCR assay for the detection of herpes simplex virus (HSV) DNA. Recently, we determined an optimal positivity criterion based on research specimens and a dilution study. We found that a cutoff of 50 HSV DNA copies/ml of swab specimen, a level 10-fold lower than our previous cutoff, minimizes misclassification.

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