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New test for Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 started Nov. 13

19 Nov 2023

Helps diagnose CNS infections

By: Tish Gross, supervisor of outreach for laboratory and imaging

Salem Health Laboratories is pleased to announce a new test for the qualitative detection and differentiation of Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 by NAA.

This test will help diagnose HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections of the central nervous system. The current acceptable sample types are CSF and swabs of cutaneous and mucocutaneous lesions. Note: This test is not intended for donor screening tests.

Specimen collection

Swabs should be collected by the health care provider. This can be done in both inpatient and outpatient settings. CSF should be collected by the health care provider and should be done in inpatient settings only. See sample collection guidelines for swabs.

Specimen acceptability requirements and appropriate transport

  • Sample type(s): Swab (cutaneous and mucocutaneous lesions) in acceptable transport container or equivalent substitutes (listed below) and CSF.
  • Volume: 1 mL (preferred), 0.5 mL (minimum).
  • Transport container: Swabs (COPAN Universal Transport Medium – UTM), sterile tube (CSF).
  • Equivalent substitutes for COPAN UTM: BD UVT, Remel M4, Remel M4RT, Remel M5 or Remel M6.
  • Transport: Refrigerated on ice.
  • Sample Stability: Refrigerated (seven days), frozen (more than seven days, long-term).
  • Storage: Refrigerated (2 to 8 degrees Celsius).

Specimen rejection criteria:

  • Calcium alginate swabs, swabs not in Universal Viral Transport or acceptable alternatives.

Specimen retention

  • Swabs: One week.
  • CSF: Three months.

How to order

  • Test name: HSV 1 and 2 by NAA.
  • Test code: LAB8395
  • CPT Code: 87529

Test methodology

  • Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
  • Qualitative results only: Detected or not detected.

Reference range

  • HSV-1: Not detected.
  • HSV-2: Not detected.

Test Location and Turn-Around-Time (TAT)

  • Test location: Salem Health Laboratory – State Street, molecular/microbiology.
  • Days performed: Monday to Saturday.
  • TAT: 12 hours.


Contact the molecular/microbiology department at 503-814-1662. Unable to reach someone? Call client services at 503-814-5227.