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J Reprod Med. 1985 Mar;30(3 Suppl):262-8.

Diagnosis of genital herpes simplex virus infections.

Abstract

Genital herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections have increased markedly in the last ten years. The clinical distinction between HSV and other infectious and noninfectious causes of genital ulcer can be difficult. As such, laboratory confirmation of HSV infection should be used for all women who present with ulcerative or clinically atypical genital lesions. Isolation of the virus in tissue culture remains the gold standard for the laboratory diagnosis of HSV infections. However, many new diagnostic methods of detecting HSV antigens in clinical specimens have been developed. Those procedures appear most useful in specimens taken from genital lesions, and at present they are unproven as reliable methods of obstetric management. Serologic methods can be useful in detecting past HSV infection; however, serodiagnosis is a less sensitive and timely procedure in patients with acute HSV infection.

PIP:

The prevalence of genital herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections has increased dramatically, and HSV is now the most common causal agent isolated from genital ulcerations in patients attending venereal disease clinics. The manifestations of genital herpes vary greatly from patient of patient and episode to episode. Genital herpes should be suspected in patients with a history of prior vesicular lesions; previous ulcerative lesions of similar size, duration, and character at or near the site of the observed attack; or if there is a sexual partner with genital herpes. The clinical distinction between HSV and other infectious and noninfectious causes of genital ulcer can be difficult. Thus, laboratory confirmation of HSV infection should be used for all women who present with ulcerative or clinically atypical genital lesions. Isolation of HSV in tissue culture is the most sensitive method for the detection of mucocutaneous HSV infection. However, cytologic, immunologic, and microscopic techniques are available for more rapid diagnosis. These procedures are unproven as reliable methods of obstetric management, and appear most useful in specimens taken from genital lesions. Serologic methods are of use in detecting past HSV infection, but are less sensitive and timely than viral isolation procedures.

PMID:
2991513
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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