How is HSV infection diagnosed in early symptomatic HIV infection?

Updated: Jan 02, 2020
  • Author: Robert J Carpenter, DO, FACP; Chief Editor: John Bartlett, MD  more...
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Viral culture is the criterion standard for diagnosis of HSV infection. Viral PCR of intralesional fluid is also highly sensitive. Direct fluorescent antigen (DFA) is also a useful and generally rapidly available test that yields good sensitivity and specificity. Tzanck preparation (ie, Giemsa stain of vesicle contents) may reveal multinucleated giant cells and intranuclear inclusions specific for HSV or varicella-zoster virus (VZV), but the sensitivity is low. See Herpes Simplex for more details.

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