Table 3

 Comparison of detection rate, duration and cost of three PCR testing methods and virus culture

DNA extractionVirus precipitationVirus culture
*True positive: specimens that had tested HSV positive in both virus culture and PCR, or if virus culture negative, positive in ⩾2 separate PCR assay and by ⩾2 methods.
†Typed by direct immunofluorescence.
Relative detection rate*61/72 (85%)62/72 (86%)65/72 (90%)42/72 (58%)
Duration (minutes or days):
    Specimen preparation9012060
    Total1712211412–10 days
Reagent cost per test (£):3.999.272.44Negative sample: 1.00 Positive sample†: 1.55