Evaluation of immunologic tests for the detection of ocular herpes simplex virus

Ophthalmology. 1989 Nov;96(11):1583-6. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(89)32683-2.


Four immunologic tests, Herpchek (HC), latex agglutination (AGG), enzyme immunofiltration (IF), and 1 hour enzyme-linked immunoassay (1EIA), were evaluated for detecting herpes simplex virus (HSV) from ocular specimens. Compared with the standard of HSV-positive cell cultures, 24 (65%) of 37 positive HC tests and 22 (59%) of 37 positive IF tests were significantly more sensitive (P less than 0.0005) than the AGG (3%, 1/37) and 1EIA (26%, 1/34) tests. The HC and IF tests were 100% specific, and easy to interpret. In addition, the clinical diagnosis of HSV infection after a thorough ophthalmologic examination was as sensitive (59%, 22/37) (P = 0.4) as any of the immunologic tests. In conclusion, for definitive diagnosis of HSV, the HC test seems more suitable for a central laboratory that handles a large number of viral specimens, and processes HC-negative tests with follow-up cell culture isolation. The enzyme immunofiltration test seems more suitable for a low-volume viral laboratory which confirms all IF test samples with follow-up cell culture isolation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agglutination Tests
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunologic Tests / methods*
  • Keratitis, Dendritic / diagnosis*
  • Keratitis, Dendritic / immunology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Simplexvirus / immunology*
  • Simplexvirus / isolation & purification
  • Virus Cultivation