Serological testing for herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 and HSV-2 infection

Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Oct 15;35(Suppl 2):S173-82. doi: 10.1086/342104.


Serological tests for herpes simplex virus (HSV) that can accurately distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 are now commercially available. These tests detect antibodies to HSV glycoproteins G-1 and G-2, which evoke a type-specific antibody response. Focus Technologies produces the HerpeSelect-1 and HerpeSelect-2 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests and the HSV-1 and HSV-2 HerpeSelect1/2 Immunoblot. Diagnology has marketed POCkit-HSV-2, a point-of-care test for HSV-2 that allows blood from a finger stick to be tested in a clinic. These tests can be used to confirm a genital herpes diagnosis, establish diagnosis of HSV infection in patients with atypical complaints, identify asymptomatic carriers, and identify persons at risk for acquiring HSV. Potential settings for use of these tests include sexually transmitted disease clinics, prenatal clinics, and clinics that care for patients with human immunodeficiency virus. Patient interest in HSV serological tests appears high.

MeSH terms

  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • Herpes Genitalis / complications
  • Herpes Genitalis / immunology
  • Herpes Simplex / complications
  • Herpes Simplex / immunology
  • Herpes Simplex / virology*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Serologic Tests
  • Serotyping
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / immunology*


  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • glycoprotein G, herpes simplex virus type 2