Detection of herpes simplex virus type 1 in herpetic ocular diseases by DNA-DNA hybridization using a biotinylated DNA probe

J Med Virol. 1988 Jul;25(3):259-70. doi: 10.1002/jmv.1890250303.


A diagnostic hybridization assay for detecting herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in ocular specimens was developed using cloned viral DNA as a probe. This hybridization assay is based on visualizing a biotinylated probe that is hybridized to the target DNA by a streptavidin/alkaline phosphatase system. The time required for performing this assay system is only two days. This assay system could detect a probe which had been hybridized to as little as 1 pg of homologous DNA and did not cross-react with DNA of other human herpes viruses except that of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) which showed weak cross-reactivity. The assay system was applied to experimental keratitis in albino rabbits and clinical specimens. In experimental keratitis in rabbits it was possible to detect HSV-1 DNA in the eye swab samples at least until the ninth day after virus inoculation. Five clinical specimens collected from patients with corneal ulcer or blepharitis contained HSV-1 DNA in spite of the failure of demonstration of viral antigen and/or virus isolation in two cases.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cornea / microbiology
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Keratitis, Dendritic / microbiology*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Rabbits
  • Simplexvirus / genetics
  • Simplexvirus / isolation & purification*


  • DNA, Viral