HERPES SIMPLEX virus Herpesvirus hominis) has recently attracted the increasing attention of neurologists. Formerly thought to be a rare cause of central nervous system (CNS) disease, this agent is now recognized as the most common cause of sporadic fatal encephalitis in this country.1-3 Further, a recent clinical and laboratory analysis4 would confirm the suggestion of others3-7 that herpes simplex encephalitis can present with unique clinical features, as well as a characteristic pathological involvement of the orbital-frontal and medial-temporal areas of the brain. The proposals that herpes simplex virus may play an etiologic role in subacute inclusion body encephalitis8 and acute hemorrhagic leucoencephalitis9 have further stimulated neurological interest in this agent. However, implication of the herpes simplex virus in the causation of any of these disorders must depend ultimately upon valid laboratory studies.
Three laboratory methods have been employed to establish a diagnosis of herpes
Johnson RT, Olson LC, Buescher EL. Herpes Simplex Virus Infections of the Nervous System: Problems in Laboratory Diagnosis. Arch Neurol. 1968;18(3):260–264. doi:10.1001/archneur.1968.00470330050004
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