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Type specificity of complement-fixing antibody against herpes simplex virus type 2 AG-4 early antigen in patients with asymptomatic infection

Sherlock, C.H.; Ashley, R.L.; Shurtleff, M.L.; Mack, K.D.; Corey, L.

Journal of Clinical Microbiology 24(6): 1093-1097

1986


ISSN/ISBN: 0095-1137
PMID: 3023439
Accession: 041882644

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We evaluated the type specificity of complement-fixing (CF) antibody against the AG-4 early antigen of herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 (HSV-2) by comparing a commercial AG-4 CF kit (Simplex-2; Gene Link Australia, Inc., Princeton, N.J.) with quantal microneutralization (MN) and absorption-Western blotting in testing sera from patients with and without a history of genital herpes. Sera characterized as HSV type 1 (HSV-1) or HSV-2 positive or negative by MN were selected and tested by CF, and those with discordant results were further analyzed for specific antibodies by absorption with HSV-1 or HSV-2 antigen and Western blotting with heterologous HSV proteins. A total of 34 of 42 (81%) sera HSV-2 positive by MN, 19 of 43 (44%) sera HSV-1 positive by MN, and 0 of 19 sera negative by MN were positive by CF. Absorption-Western blotting showed that 12 of 18 (67%) sera HSV-1 positive by MN but positive by CF had no HSV-2-specific antibody and that all 7 sera HSV-2 positive by MN but negative by CF had HSV-2-specific antibody. When MN and absorption-Western blotting data were combined to analyze patients with no history of genital herpes, 7 of 19 (37%) with no HSV-2-specific antibody were positive by CF, and 7 of 27 (26%) with HSV-2-specific antibody were negative by CF. The positive and negative predictive values for the CF test were 78 and 75%, respectively, in this group. The presence of antibody to the HSV AG-4 antigen does not discriminate sufficiently between HSV-1- and HSV-2-infected patients to be of value in predicting HSV-2 infection in the absence of symptomatic disease.

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