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Table 2 Indirect methods for HSV diagnosis

From: Herpes simplex virus infection in pregnancy and in neonate: status of art of epidemiology, diagnosis, therapy and prevention

Method Tissue sampled Sensitivity Specificity Advantages Disadvantages
     Distinguish between HSV-1 and 2  
Western Blot2 Serum ~100% ~100% Detect early seroconversion to HSV-2 in patient with prior HSV-1 infection. Not commercially available
2–3 days for results
     Commercially available  
EIA2 Serum 93–98% 93–98% Distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 Lack of sensitivity (compared to amplified tests)2
  Serum    Less expensive than western blot2 Commercially available only for HSV-22
Point of care tests2 Capillary blood37 96% 87–98% Accurate results rapidly (6 min.)37 Expensive36
     Easily performer37 Not for large volume screening36
     Detects seroconversion
within 4 weeks of presentation of 80% of patients with HSV-2 episodes37
Complexity nonwaived (moderate)36