Diagnosis of herpes encephalitis via Southern blotting of cerebrospinal fluid DNA amplified by polymerase chain reaction

J Med Virol. 1990 Dec;32(4):261-4. doi: 10.1002/jmv.1890320413.


Herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase gene specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of DNA extracted from lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and Southern blotting (SB) were evaluated as a method for the diagnosis of herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE). Positive PCR-SB results were obtained with CSF samples from 9 of 10 patients (11 of 12 CSF specimens) with proven herpes encephalitis as early as 2 days after onset of neurological illness. Our data support the suggestion that PCR techniques may provide a clinically relevant "non-invasive" method for the diagnosis of HSE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Southern
  • DNA, Viral / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Encephalitis / complications
  • Encephalitis / diagnosis*
  • Herpes Simplex / complications
  • Herpes Simplex / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Simplexvirus / enzymology
  • Simplexvirus / genetics*
  • Thymidine Kinase / genetics


  • DNA, Viral
  • Thymidine Kinase