Rapid detection of herpes-simplex-virus DNA in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with herpes simplex encephalitis

Lancet. 1990 Feb 24;335(8687):440-1. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(90)90667-t.


Herpes-simplex-virus (HSV) DNA in cerebrospinal fluid was amplified by use of the polymerase chain reaction and identified by hybridisation to a specific oligonucleotide probe. Specimens of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from 4 of 4 patients with herpes simplex encephalitis were positive for HSV DNA, whereas CSF specimens from 6 patients with other central-nervous-system infections were negative. This technique may expedite diagnosis of herpes simplex encephalitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA, Viral / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Encephalitis / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Encephalitis / etiology
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Herpes Simplex / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Herpes Simplex / complications
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Simplexvirus / genetics*
  • Time Factors


  • DNA, Viral