Evaluation of an enzyme immunoassay system for measuring herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1-specific and HSV type 2-specific IgG antibodies

J Clin Lab Anal. 2000;14(1):13-6. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1098-2825(2000)14:1<13::aid-jcla3>3.0.co;2-c.


MRL Diagnostics has developed a dual enzyme immunoassay (EIA) system that employs the recombinant Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) type-specific glycoproteins G1 (HSV1) and G2 (HSV2) to detect HSV type-specific IgG antibodies. This system was evaluated using 155 consecutive sera previously tested in a conventional dual EIA system (Zeus) that employs multiple HSV1 and HSV2 proteins to detect type-common as well as type-specific antibodies. Sera were also analyzed by Western blot to determine the true HSV type-specific IgG reactivity pattern. Of 110 sera giving concordant reactivity patterns in the MRL and Zeus EIA systems, 108 (98%) also displayed concordant Western blot patterns; two sera gave false positive HSV2 reactivity in both EIA systems. Of 45 sera giving discordant MRL and Zeus EIA reactivity patterns, 41 (91%) displayed a Western blot reactivity pattern that matched the MRL reactivity pattern. Both the HSV1 IgG component and the HSV2 IgG component of the MRL EIA system were 100% sensitive and > 95% specific. In contrast, the Zeus HSV1 IgG EIA was 98% sensitive and 79% specific, and the Zeus HSV2 IgG EIA was 85% sensitive and 79% specific. An analysis of the distribution of index values in the MRL EIA system showed that low-positive values (1.0-3.0) were rare, but, when detected, often represented false positive results; only 11 MRL low-positive results were observed, but all 6 MRL false positive results were found within this low-positive subgroup. These findings show that the MRL dual EIA system effectively detects HSV type-specific IgG antibodies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Blotting, Western
  • False Negative Reactions
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Herpes Simplex / diagnosis*
  • Herpes Simplex / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques / methods*
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis*
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic