To maintain optimum viability, place swab into VCM (equal volumes of fluid/tissue and VCM) or equivalent and transport the specimen to the laboratory as soon as possible. Of the 326 clinical specimens examined, conventional culture detected 67, and of these, 61 (91%) and 42 (63%) were detected by 20-h SV cultures and 8-h SV cultures, respectively. If there will be a long delay before processing, specimens in V-C-M or equivalent should be frozen at -70° C or colder and transported on dry ice. However, PCR was negative in 27 instances in which HSV was diagnosed clinically, of which 2 were vesicular and 15 ulcerative. This study represents the first investigation of typing HSV virus in HSV-associated erythema multiforme patients, and the finding that 66.7% of the patients was attributed to HSV1, 27.8% to HSV2, and 5.6% to HSV1 and 2 co-infection may reflect the distribution of HSV1 and 2 in local general population. Note: PCR is the preferred test for CSF (preferred specimen: 1 mL CSF submitted in a sterile, leak-proof container without transport media). Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem.
Special tests may also be done to determine whether it is herpes simplex virus type 1 or 2. Rapid culture allows for the initiation of therapy that may diminish the severity of symptoms and shorten the length of symptoms. Sometimes a sample from the throat or eyes is needed. Please contact the Quest Diagnostics Connectivity Help Desk for more information at 800-697-9302. A normal (negative) result means that the herpes simplex virus did not grow in the laboratory dish and the skin sample used in the test did not contain any herpes virus. An abnormal (positive) result may mean that you have an active infection with herpes simplex virus. Herpes infections include herpes genitalis, which is genital herpes, or cold sores on the lips or in the mouth.
If sores have started to heal, they may be less likely to have the virus. Viral infections. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 55. Review date: November 13, 2014 Reviewed by: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine.
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