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J Lab Physicians. 2017 Jan-Mar;9(1):53-56. doi: 10.4103/0974-2727.187929.

A Comparative Analysis of Polymerase Chain Reaction and Direct Fluorescent Antibody Test for Diagnosis of Genital Herpes.

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Department of Microbiology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India.
Department of Dermatology and STD, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India.



To compare laboratory tests that can simultaneously detect and type herpes simplex virus (HSV) directly from the genital ulcer specimens in clinically suspected cases of genital herpes.


A study was conducted over 10 months and 44 adult male and female patients clinically suspected with genital herpes were recruited. Genital ulcer swab specimens were subjected to glycoprotein-G gene-based conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and commercially available direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) test and the results were compared.


PCR for HSV was positive in 82% (36/44) cases. DFA was positive in 68.2% (30/44) cases. There was 100% agreement between HSV types detected by DFA and PCR. The strength of agreement between the results was better in primary genital herpes than recurrent cases.


PCR was found to be better in the detection of HSV in recurrent genital herpes patients. It is a better modality, especially when genital herpes clinically presents with ulcerative or crusted lesions, and is also a cheaper alternative as compared to DFA.


Genital herpes; herpes simplex virus polymerase chain reaction; simultaneous detection and typing of herpes simplex virus

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