Herpes simplex virus infection

Keywords: HSV infection, HSV, Genital herpes

Infection Sites

Appropriate Tests

 

Clinical diagnosis, tests not usually required.

If infection is atypical, severe or recurrent: Virus detection, culture - lesion swab or vesicle fluid.

Culture or PCR will distinguish HSV types I and II.

Although the diagnosis can be established by lesion biopsy, this should be avoided if possible as it may exacerbate the infection.

Herpes simplex Ab (serum, CSF) are seldom useful

See also Sexually transmitted diseases

Cutaneous, especially

  • Genital
  • Whitlow

 

Ocular, especially

  • Keratitis

 

See Keratoconjunctivitis

Oral/oesophageal

Oesophageal biopsy may be necessary to distinguish HSV infection from Candidiasis, CMV infection.

Cerebral

Virus detection, culture - CSF (including nucleic acid probe after PCR).

Herpes simplex Ab (serum, CSF) are of little value. Brain biopsy is not indicated.

See also Encephalitis.
 

Disseminated

Usually only in neonates, immunodeficient patients.

See Immunodeficiency.