What role does tissue culture have in the diagnosis of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Folusakin O Ayoade, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection is best confirmed by isolation of the virus in tissue culture (the criterion standard for diagnosis). Tissue culture success is operator-dependent, but this modality can yield positive results within 48 hours of inoculation.

Characteristic cytopathic effect with ballooning of cells and cell death are observed, and death of the entire monolayer of cells may be rapid.

Immunofluorescent staining of the tissue culture cells can be used to quickly identify HSV and can distinguish between types 1 and 2.


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