Detection of herpes viruses in clinical samples using real-time PCR

S Nicoll, A Brass, H A Cubie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Herpes viruses including cytomegalovirus, varicella zoster and herpes simplex are an important cause of morbidity and mortality, especially in immunocompromised patients. Real-time PCR assays were developed with the aim of introducing a rapid and sensitive test to replace culture, and as a surveillance system for high-risk patients. The assays were optimised using cell culture derived material, and the sensitivity ascertained using cloned product before applying to extracted and non-extracted clinical samples. The sensitivity was between 1--100 virus copies with increased sensitivity to detect less than 10 copies possible when an initial round of amplification was carried out using external primers. Results were available within four hours of receipt compared with a median of 4.4 days for culture and immunofluorescence. Real-time PCR was found to be a sensitive and rapid method of detecting these viruses and will be a valuable tool for the surveillance of immunosuppressed patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Virological Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2001

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Herpesviridae
  • Herpesviridae Infections
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


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