Comparison of Four Enzyme Immunoassays With a Western Blot Assay for the Determination of Type-Specific Antibodies to Herpes Simplex Virus

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Most current enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) differentiate inadequately between types 1 and 2 herpes simplex virus (HSV) antibodies since significant cross-reactivity exists. We compared 4 IgG type-specific EIAs using a Western blot assay for resolution of discrepant results. The Diamedix had sensitivities of 100% for types 1 and 2 but specificities of only 71% and 61%, respectively. The cross-reactivity rate was 82% in positive samples tested. For HSV types 1 and 2, the Zeus sensitivities were 92% and 98%, respectively; specificities were 72% and 79%, respectively; the cross-reactivity rate was 54%. For HSV types 1 and 2, the Wampole sensitivities were 98% and 95%, respectively; specificities were 68% and 85%, respectively; the cross-reactivity rate was 47%. For HSV types 1 and 2, the Meridian sensitivities were 98% and 90%, respectively; specificities were 96% and 100%, respectively; no cross-reactivity was found between positive samples tested. While the Diamedix, Zeus, and Wampole assays showed good sensitivity, they lacked type specificity. The Meridian EIA offers the highest specificity along with no observed cross-reactivity. This EIA may be an easier, reliable alternative to Western blot for the determination of HSV type-specific antibodies.

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