Background and objectives: The genital herpes epidemic continues, in part, because patients with subclinical or atypical presentations cannot be identified by most herpes simplex virus (HSV) antibody tests. A new product, POCkit HSV-2, has been developed to rapidly and accurately detect antibodies to HSV type 2 (HSV-2) in capillary blood or serum.
Goal: Sera from patients with culture-documented genital or oral herpes were tested to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the POCkit HSV-2 rapid point-of-care antibody test (Diagnology, Belfast, Northern Ireland).
Study design: Sera from 50 patients with culture-documented HSV type 1 (9 oral, 41 genital) and from 253 patients with genital HSV-2 were tested by POCkit HSV-2 for HSV-2 antibodies. Each subject had a positive culture for HSV within 6 months of serum collection. Sera were preselected to include only those that were seropositive to the respective virus subtype by University of Washington Western blot.
Results: Compared with viral culture and Western blot analysis, sensitivity of the POCkit HSV-2 test for HSV-2 antibody was 96%; specificity was 98%.
Conclusion: This test provides rapid, accurate identification of HSV-2 antibody in subjects with established HSV infections.