The Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the cause of cold sores, sexually transmitted disease (genital herpes) and ulcers. Accordingly a very successful virus as it infects over 60% of those under 50 worldwide although incidence is slightly lower in the Americas. Neonatal herpes simplex can be a serious disease as can herpes simplex encephalitis. It is a likely cause of Bell's palsy.
Herpes simplex virus (HSV). Large, complex, DNA. There are two types of HSV, HSV 1 and HSV 2. Like other members of the family Herpesviridae, HSV establishes lifelong latency. HSV can reactivate when the host is immunocompromised, although the exact trigger is often not identified.
- Superkingdom Viruses
HSV 1 is usually associated with oral HSV infections. HSV 2 is usually associated with genital herpes infections. However either HSV type can be found at either site.
- Cold sores
- Genital herpes
- HSV encephalitis
- Characteristic rash
- Association rash and systemic or CNS disease
- Direct fluorescent antibodies
- Tzanck preparation
- Immunofluorescence using HSV specific monoclonal antibodies
- HSV DNA PCR
- Cell culture
- HSV serology by ELISA. Both type-specific and non type-specific HSV serology are available.
- Lumbar puncture in suspected viral encephalitides
- MRI and CT in suspected encephalitis
- Antivirals such as aciclovir.
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