An in situ hybridization kit (Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc., Athens, Ohio) was evaluated for use in the detection and identification of herpes simplex virus (HSV) from clinical specimens. For in situ hybridization, a 10-min spin amplification onto monolayers of African green monkey kidney cells (CV-1) in 24-well polystyrene dishes, 24-h culture amplification, and hybridization with an alkaline phosphatase-labeled DNA probe were used. A total of 648 specimens were tested, including 275 specimens from patients with symptomatic diseases sent specifically for HSV detection and 373 specimens from asymptomatic immunocompromised patients sent for detection of HSV shedding. Overall, the sensitivity of the hybridization assay was 97.8% (131 of 134 specimens), with 105 of 105 (100%) specimens from symptomatic patients and 26 of 29 (89.9%) specimens from asymptomatic patients being detected. The three specimens that were false negative by in situ hybridization had low virus titers, as determined by tissue culture. The specificity was 99.6% (512 of 514 specimens). The rapid, accurate results suggest that the in situ hybridization kit may be used as an alternative to conventional tissue culture for the detection of HSV.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)