Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
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Isolation, characterization, and acyclovir susceptibility of herpes simplex virus isolates among immunocompromised patients


1 Department of Microbiology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India
2 Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Kalyani, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
4 Department of Tropical Medicine, School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
5 Department of Virology, ICMR Virus Unit, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Mallika Sengupta,
Department of Microbiology, Medical College, 88, College Street, Kolkata - 700 073, West Bengal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijstd.IJSTD_60_17

Introduction: Herpes simplex virus (HSV) Type 2 primarily causes genital herpes, while HSV Type 1 is responsible for oral and facial lesions. The objective of this study was to isolate and characterize HSV from herpetic lesions among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected patients and to evaluate their acyclovir susceptibility pattern. Materials and Methods: Blister fluid and swabs from ulcers were collected from patients with clinical diagnosis of HSV infection among patients attending the HIV clinic of two tertiary care centers – Medical College, Kolkata, and School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata. These samples were cultured in the Vero cell line. Growth of virus was noted by observing the characteristic cytopathic effect of HSV, which was further confirmed by immunofluorescence and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). These isolates were then subjected to the Vero cells with serial dilutions of acyclovir for determining the susceptibility pattern. Results: Among the 52 samples received, 8 (15.38%) showed growth of HSV. After confirmation by immunofluorescence and PCR, all seven isolates from genital samples were identified as HSV-2 and the lone isolate from oral lesion was confirmed as HSV 1. Out of the eight isolates, 25% showed resistance to acyclovir. The overall isolation rate was more from genital blister than genital ulcer which was 46.15% and 2.86%, respectively. Conclusion: HSV was isolated in 15.38% of cases of clinical herpes. There was a higher isolation rate of virus from blister fluid as compared to ulcer scrapings. Acyclovir resistance in 25% of cases is alarmingly high.


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