OBJECTIVE: To develop a new, rapid, and convenient technique for the diagnosis and typing of herpes simplex virus (HSV) in genital herpes (GH). METHODS: Using samples from skin vesicle fluid and urogenital mucosal swabs of subjects with GH, conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (directed to polymerase gene: PCRpG) were compared with a newly developed PCR (directed to HSV glycoprotein gene: PCRgG). Both PCR methods were compared with virus isolation culture (VI) with indirect immunofluorescent staining (IIF). RESULTS: 80 samples from 40 GH patients (25 males) were tested. Positive results were seen in 52.5% (42/80) using PCRgG compared with 40% (32/80) by VI. Most of PCRgG positive samples (95.1%) were caused by HSV-2 infection. In samples from healing lesions, HSV was detected more often by PCRgG, than by VI. The results of typing by PCRgG and IIF were highly consistent. CONCLUSION: PCRgG is more sensitive than VI and PCRgG in detecting HSV in urogenital samples from subjects with GH. PCRgG is a convenient technique for the rapid detection and typing of GH.
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