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Antiviral Res. 2008 Jul;79(1):28-36. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2008.01.153. Epub 2008 Feb 21.

Genotypic detection of acyclovir-resistant HSV-1: characterization of 67 ACV-sensitive and 14 ACV-resistant viruses.

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Laboratoire de Virologie, Centre de Biologie et de Pathologie Est, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Bron Cedex, Lyon, France.


Infections due to herpes simplex virus (HSV) resistant to acyclovir (ACV) represent an important clinical concern in immunocompromised patients. In order to switch promptly to an appropriate treatment, rapid viral susceptibility assays are required. We developed herein a genotyping analysis focusing on thymidine kinase gene (TK) mutations in order to detect acyclovir-resistant HSV in clinical specimens. A total of 85 HSV-1 positive specimens collected from 69 patients were analyzed. TK gene could be sequenced directly for 81 clinical specimens (95%) and 68 HSV-1 specimens could be characterized as sensitive or resistant by genotyping (84%). Genetic characterization of 67 susceptible HSV-1 specimens revealed 10 polymorphisms never previously described. Genetic characterization of 14 resistant HSV-1 revealed 12 HSV-1 with either TK gene additions/deletions (8 strains) or substitutions (4 strains) and 2 HSV-1 with no mutation in the TK gene. DNA polymerase gene was afterwards explored. With this rapid PCR-based assay, ACV-resistant HSV could be detected directly in clinical specimens within 24 h.

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