UCSF Navigation Bar

UCSF Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Home Page

Lab Manual for UCSF Clinical Laboratories

Lab Manual for SFGH

Internal Resources


Item Value
Available Stat? No
Test code HSVC
Performed by? Microbiology (Virology)
Sendout? no
Price range $$$
In House Availability 7 days
Principle Specimen is inoculated into two cell lines and incubated and examined each day for at least 5 days. Identification of HSV is based upon typical cytopathic effect, confirmed by staining with HSV Type 1 and HSV Type 2 fluorescein-conjugated monoclonal antibody. Cultures with no evidence of viral infection after 5 days incubation are reported as "No Herpes simplex virus recovered."
Interpretation Positive result indicates the presence of Herpes simplex virus Type 1 or Herpes simplex virus Type 2 (depending upon reactivity with specific monoclonal antibody) in culture. Negative result (no evidence of cytopathic effect after 5 days incubation) may indicate absence of virus or may be a false negative result due to improper specimen collection, improper specimen handling, or small amounts of virus which were not detected.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The result must be interpreted in conjunction with clinical findings and other laboratory data.
Container type 1. Use swabs provided with viral transport medium (obtained from Lab Support Services, 206-8199) for collecting specimens which require a swab. If viral transport packages are not available, dacron swabs with plastic or fine-wire shafts may be used and placed into a small amount (approx. 0.5 mL) of sterile non-bacteriostatic saline in a sterile tube for transport to the lab. Dry swabs will not be processed. Do not use calcium alginate swabs as they may inactivate Herpes viruses.

2. Put other specimens for culture in sterile, leak-proof containers.
Collection Instructions Collect specimens aseptically as soon as possible after onset of symptoms or at autopsy. Recovery of viruses is best during the first 3 days after onset and may be greatly reduced after 5 days.

For detailed collection instructions for specific specimen types, see Virology, Routine Culture.
Special instructions REQUISITION: Microbiology (Viral - Herpes simplex only culture). Please send properly filled-out form, noting date and time of collection, source of specimen, test requested, and brief clinical history.

Deliver specimens to Microbiology Lab (2M33) immediately after collection or hold at 4°C until delivery.
Normal range no Herpes Simplex virus recovered
Synonyms HSV;
Stability Relatively stable at 4°C for 24 hours.
References 1. Clarke, LM, ed. 1992. Section 8: Viruses, Rickettsiae, Chlamydiae, and Mycoplasmas; as found in Clinical Microbiology Procedures Manual, H. Isenberg, ed. Amer. Soc. for Microbiol., Washington, D.C.

2. Schmidt, NJ and RW Emmons, eds. 1989. Diagnostic Procedures for Viral, Rickettsial and Chlamydial Infections, 6th ed. Amer. Public Health Assn, Washington, D.C.
CPT coding 87252
Last Updated 8/19/2009 1:30:57 PM
Search Our Test Menu
UCSF home page UCSF home page About UCSF Search UCSF UCSF Medical Center