Recurrent herpetic keratitis: failure to detect herpes simplex virus infection using the Syva MicroTrak HSV1/HSV2 direct specimen identification/typing test

Ophthalmologica. 1990;201(4):169-73. doi: 10.1159/000310147.


A 35-year-old man had developed recurrent herpetic keratitis characterized by dendritic keratitis at intervals of a year. We were able to culture cytopathic agents repeatedly from his lesions by inoculating Vero cells. The cultures yielded definitive evidence of a virus that caused a cytopathic effect within 3 days. However, these virus strains could not be identified as herpes simplex virus (HSV) in immunofluorescence assays using the Syva MicroTrak HSV1/HSV2 direct specimen identification/typing test. Rather they were identified as strains of HSV type 1 (HSV-1) on the basis of plaque morphology, neutralization tests, electron-microscopic examination and DNA restriction endonuclease analysis. Our results allow us to assume the existence of HSV-1 strains isolated clinically that are negative to analysis using the Syva Micro-Trak HSV1/HSV2 direct specimen identification/typing test.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Keratitis, Dendritic / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Recurrence
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Simplexvirus / genetics
  • Simplexvirus / isolation & purification*
  • Simplexvirus / ultrastructure
  • Vero Cells


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral
  • DNA, Viral