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J Clin Microbiol. 2016 Aug;54(8):2008-13. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00483-16. Epub 2016 May 18.

Multicenter Evaluation of Meridian Bioscience HSV 1&2 Molecular Assay for Detection of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 from Clinical Cutaneous and Mucocutaneous Specimens.

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Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
LeBonheur Children's Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.
Pathology, Inc., Torrance, California, USA.
Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
Sacred Heart Hospital, Pensacola, Florida, USA.
CompuNet Clinical Laboratories, Moraine, Ohio, USA.
Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA


Herpes simplex virus (HSV) causes acute and relapsing symptoms characterized by ulcerative lesions. Laboratory diagnosis of HSV in cutaneous or mucocutaneous lesions has historically been performed with the use of viral cell culture systems; however, these tests are laborious and suffer decreased sensitivity for advanced-stage lesions. The recent availability of FDA-cleared moderately complex assays has resulted in the increased use of molecular diagnostics for the routine detection of HSV in superficial swab specimens. We performed a clinical evaluation of the recently FDA-cleared illumigene HSV 1&2 loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay (Meridian Bioscience, Cincinnati OH) for the detection and differentiation of HSV-1 and HSV-2 in cutaneous and mucocutaneous swab specimens. A total of 1,153 clinical swab specimens were collected and tested at 7 different clinical centers. Each specimen was tested for the presence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 using the illumigene assay, and results were compared to those of the enzyme-linked virus-inducible system (ELVIS) as the reference method. Overall, the illumigene assay demonstrated a sensitivity and specificity of 94.8% and 95.5%, respectively, for the detection of HSV-1. Detection of HSV-2 was similar, with a sensitivity of 98.9% and a specificity of 95.5%. Discrepant analysis was performed using an alternative molecular test (AmpliVue HSV1+2 assay; Quidel Molecular, San Diego, CA) on 91/99 specimens that were recorded as false positive (FP) or false negative (FN) compared to the reference method. In total, 57/78 (73%) FP and 9/13 (69%) FN illumigene results were supported by the AmpliVue result. The illumigene HSV 1&2 assay demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity to detect and differentiate HSV in clinical specimens and identified 57 additional specimens that were positive for HSV compared to culture. The use of LAMP eliminates the need for the cycling of temperatures and provides results in less than 60 min, with approximately 2 min of hands-on time per specimen.

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