A rapid indirect micro-immunofluorescence test capable of detecting and differentiating type-specific antibodies to herpes simplex virus is described. The test proved highly sensitive and, in 80 patients with active herpes ocular infection, antibody was detected in 94%. No anti-herpes antibody was detected in a control group of 20 patients with adenovirus infections. Testing of animal sera prepared against herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 and of human sera from cases of ocular and genital herpes infections showed that the test can differentiate antibodies to the infecting serotypes. Specimens of whole blood, taken by fingerprick, and eye secretions, both collected on cellulose sponges, could be tested by indirect micro-immunofluorescence. Anti-herpes IgG, IgM, and IgA can also be detected.
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