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J Virol Methods. 2009 Sep;160(1-2):193-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2009.04.035. Epub 2009 May 9.

Analysis of varicella-zoster virus and herpes simplex virus in various clinical samples by the use of different PCR assays.

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  • 1Cepheid Europe, Maurens Scopont, France.


Rapid and reliable detection of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and -2 (HSV-2) is of clinical significance in immunocompromised patients and patients with infections of the central nervous system. This paper describes the detection of VZV and HSV using the commercially available Affigene VZV and Affigene HSV 1/2 tracer kits in comparison to "in-house" polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. For sample preparation, Qiagen (Hilden, Germany) and Affigene (Cepheid AB, Bromma, Sweden) DNA extraction kits were used. 175 samples were analyzed for VZV and 352 samples for HSV-1 and -2. Generally more positive results were obtained using the Affigene assays compared to the "in-house" methods independent of the DNA preparation method used. There were significant differences in sensitivity between the Affigene HSV 1/2 tracer and the "in-house" PCR assays for the detection of both HSV-1 and -2 in cerebrospinal fluid and vesicle/skin swabs. The Affigene HSV 1/2 and VZV tracers are very sensitive assays for detection of VZV and HSV. A wide variety of clinical samples can be examined in combination with either the Qiagen or the Affigene DNA extraction kits for preparation.

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