This study compares the performance of a commercial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for detection of herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1 and 2, varicella zoster virus (VZV), and Treponema pallidum with laboratory-developed assays. A panel of 250 samples, previously tested using in-house assays, was tested on the PlexPCR® VHS assay. The panel consisted of 202 positive specimens [HSV-1 (n=51); HSV-2 (n=51); VZV (n=51); T. pallidum (n=49)] and 48 negative specimens. Genital samples had been previously tested for HSV-1/2 and T. pallidum and nongenital or unspecified samples for HSV-1/2 and VZV. The overall agreement between the PlexPCR® VHS and in-house assays was 97%. Negative agreement was ≥99%, and positive agreement for individual targets was 96% (47/49) for T. pallidum, 98% for HSV-1 and HSV-2 (50/51), and 100% (51/51) for VZV. Adoption of this assay would allow greater availability of molecular syphilis detection and enhance the diagnostic yield of samples collected from cutaneous/mucocutaneous lesions.
Keywords: HSV; Real-time PCR; Sexually transmitted infections; Syphilis; VZV.
Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.