Conjunctival swab in viral transport medium
Keep specimen at 4C
CONJUNCTIVAL SWABS should be taken by stroking the lower conjunctival sac of the eye 5-6 times with a rayon or Dacron tipped, plastic or metal shafted swab to obtain epithelial cells. To facilitate binding of the cellular material to the swab, the swab can be premoistened with sterile saline. Be certain to express the excess liquid from the swab before attempting to collect the specimen. After specimen collection, place swab into tube of viral transport medium. Corneal swabs, tear samples, aqueous humor, vitreous humor, corneal biopsy, and retinal biopsy specimens are also acceptable, depending on the type of eye involvement.
Swab specimens not received in viral transport medium or received in bacteriological transport medium are discouraged. DO NOT USE CALCIUM ALGINATE OR WOODEN SHAFT SWABS FOR COLLECTION OF SPECIMENS; ONLY USE DACRON OR RAYON TIPPED SWABS ON PLASTIC OR METAL SHAFTS.
Amplification and detection of HSV DNA polymerase gene using TaqMan real-time PCR technology. This test is performed pursuant to an agreement with Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.
If positive, results are reported as herpes simplex virus DNA detected
Negative or no herpes simplex virus DNA detected
Clinical Utility: PCR of CSF specimens is now considered the 'gold standard' for the detection of HSV in patients with HSV encephalitis or other HSV-related central nervous system diseases such as recurrent meningitis. PCR can also be used to accurately diagnose HSV infections of the skin and mucous membranes and for the diagnosis of HSV neonatal disease. For diagnosis of neonatal HSV infection, collect specimens from skin vesicles, conjunctiva, mouth or nasopharynx, urine, blood, stool or rectum, and CSF. Detection of HSV from any of these sites more than 48 hours after birth may indicate active viral replication and infection of the infant rather than colonization after intrapartum exposure.