Time course of seroconversion by HerpeSelect ELISA after acquisition of genital herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or HSV-2

Sex Transm Dis. 2003 Apr;30(4):310-4. doi: 10.1097/00007435-200304000-00007.


Background: HerpeSelect HSV-1 and HSV-2 ELISAs are glycoprotein G-based, type-specific antibody detection tests that are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for diagnosis of genital herpes.

Goal: The goal was to determine seroconversion times by means of HerpeSelect ELISAs.

Study design: Four-hundred thirteen sera from 113 patients with recently acquired genital herpes were tested by HerpeSelect ELISAs and Western blot (WB). Thirty-one patients had primary genital HSV-1 (group 1), 56 had primary HSV-2 (group 2), and 26 had prior HSV-1 antibodies and newly acquired HSV-2 (group 3).

Results: Median interval from onset of symptoms to seroconversion was 25 days, as determined by HerpeSelect HSV-1, versus 33 days by WB for group 1; 21 days by HerpeSelect HSV-2 versus 40 days by WB (group 2; P = 0.0005); and 23 days by HerpeSelect HSV-2 ELISA versus 47 days by WB (group 3; P = 0.02). In long-term follow-up, transient reversion to HerpeSelect negativity occurred in 3 of 31 HSV-1-infected subjects (10%) and in 2 of 82 HSV-2-infected subjects (2%).

Conclusion: Seroconversion to HSV-2 was determined faster by HerpeSelect than by WB.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cohort Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / standards*
  • Female
  • Herpes Genitalis / blood
  • Herpes Genitalis / virology*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / classification*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / classification*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serotyping
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Viral