Test Catalog

Test Id : HSVPB

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Molecular Detection, PCR, Blood

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Aiding in the rapid diagnosis of disseminated disease due to herpes simplex virus (HSV)


Qualitative detection of HSV DNA


This test should not be used to screen asymptomatic patients.

Method Name
A short description of the method used to perform the test

Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)/DNA Probe Hybridization

NY State Available
Indicates the status of NY State approval and if the test is orderable for NY State clients.


Reporting Name
Lists a shorter or abbreviated version of the Published Name for a test

Herpes Simplex Virus, PCR, B

Lists additional common names for a test, as an aid in searching

Herpes Simplex Virus Detection by Real-Time PCR

HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) by PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)

HSV Detection by Real-Time PCR


LightCycler HSV


Specimen Type
Describes the specimen type validated for testing

Whole Blood EDTA

Ordering Guidance

If herpes simplex virus (HSV) is suspected in sources other than blood, order HSVPV / Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Molecular Detection, PCR, Varies.


If HSV is suspected in cerebrospinal fluid, order HSVC / Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Molecular Detection, PCR, Spinal Fluid.

Specimen Required
Defines the optimal specimen required to perform the test and the preferred volume to complete testing

Container/Tube: Lavender top (EDTA)

Specimen Volume: 1 mL

Collection Instructions: Send whole blood specimen in original tube. Do not aliquot.


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a Microbiology Test Request (T244) with the specimen.

Specimen Minimum Volume
Defines the amount of sample necessary to provide a clinically relevant result as determined by the Testing Laboratory

0.4 mL

Reject Due To
Identifies specimen types and conditions that may cause the specimen to be rejected

  All specimens will be evaluated at Mayo Clinic Laboratories for test suitability.

Specimen Stability Information
Provides a description of the temperatures required to transport a specimen to the performing laboratory, alternate acceptable temperatures are also included

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Whole Blood EDTA Refrigerated (preferred) 7 days
Frozen 7 days

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Aiding in the rapid diagnosis of disseminated disease due to herpes simplex virus (HSV)


Qualitative detection of HSV DNA


This test should not be used to screen asymptomatic patients.

Clinical Information
Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 cause a variety of clinical syndromes. Anatomic sites infected include the skin, lips, oral cavity, eyes, genital tract, and central nervous system. Systemic disease may also occur, in which the virus may be detectable in the bloodstream. The detection of HSV-1 or HSV-2 DNA from blood specimens may help support the diagnosis of disseminated disease associated with this virus.

Reference Values
Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.






Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

This is a qualitative assay; results are reported either as negative or positive for herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 or HSV type 2.


An Indeterminate result means that HSV DNA was detected, but the assay was unable to differentiate between HSV type 1 and HSV type 2. If typing is required, it is recommended that a new sample be collected and tested by an alternate method.


Detection of HSV DNA in clinical specimens supports the clinical diagnosis of infection due to the virus.

Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

This test is intended for patients with evidence of disseminated disease due to herpes simplex virus (HSV). For patients with localized (eg, skin, genital) disease, a swab of suspect lesions should be collected and submitted for real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis; HSVPV / Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Molecular Detection, PCR, Varies).


A negative result does not eliminate the possibility of HSV infection.


Although the reference value is typically "negative" for this assay, viral shedding may be detected in asymptomatic individuals. This assay is only to be used for patients with a clinical history and symptoms consistent with HSV infection and must be interpreted in the context of the clinical picture.

Supportive Data


Thirty negative EDTA whole blood specimens were spiked with herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1 and HSV 2 plasmid control at the limit of detection (10 copies DNA target/microliter). The spiked specimens were run in a blinded fashion along with approximately 30 negative (non-spiked) specimens; 100% of the spiked specimens were positive and 100% of the non-spiked specimens were negative.


Analytical Sensitivity/Limit of Detection:

The lower limit of detection of this assay is 10 DNA target copies per microliter. This was established in anogenital swabs and confirmed in the matrix of EDTA whole blood.


Analytical Specificity:

No polymerase chain reaction signal was obtained from extracts of 30 bacterial, viral, and fungal isolates that could be found as normal flora in sites normally tested for this organism or that could cause similar symptoms.

Clinical Reference
Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Binnicker MJ, Espy MJ, Duresko B, Irish C, Mandrekar J: Automated processing, extraction and detection of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2: A comparative evaluation of three commercial platforms using clinical specimens. J Clin Virol 2017;89:30-33.

2. Schiffer JT, Corye L: New concepts in understanding genital herpes. Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2009 Nov;11(6):457-464

3. Espy MJ, Uhl JR, Svien KA, et al: Laboratory diagnosis of herpes simplex virus infections in the clinical laboratory by LightCycler PCR. J Clin Microbiol. 2000 Feb;38(2):795-799

4. Espy MJ, Ross TK, Teo R, et al: Evaluation of LightCycler PCR for implementation of laboratory diagnosis of herpes simplex virus infections. J Clin Microbiol. 2000 Aug;38(8):3116-3118

5. Sauerbrei A, Eichhorn U, Hottenrott G, Wutzler P: Virological diagnosis of herpes simplex encephalitis. J Clin Virol. 2000 Jun;17(1):31-36

6. Mitchell PS, Espy MJ, Smith TF, et al: Laboratory diagnosis of central nervous system infections with herpes simplex virus by PCR performed with cerebrospinal fluid specimens. J Clin Microbiol. 1997 Nov;35(11):2873-2877

7. Yi-Wei T, Mitchell PS, Espy MJ, et al: Molecular diagnosis of herpes simplex virus infections in the central nervous system. J Clin Microbiol. 1999 Jul;37(7):2127-2136

Method Description
Describes how the test is performed and provides a method-specific reference

Viral nucleic acid is extracted by the MagNA Pure 96 automated instrument (Roche Applied Science) from blood specimens. Primers directed to the DNA polymerase of herpes simplex virus (HSV) produce a 215-base pair amplicon. The LightCycler or LightCycler 480 instrument (Roche Applied Science), amplifies and monitors by fluorescence the development of target nucleic acid sequences after the annealing step during polymerase chain reaction (PCR) cycling. This is an automated PCR system that can rapidly detect (30-40 minutes) amplicon development through stringent air-controlled temperature cycling and capillary cuvettes or 96 well plate. The detection of amplified products is based on the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) principle. For FRET product detection, a hybridization probe with a donor fluorophore, fluorescein, on the 3'-end is excited by an external light source and emits light that is absorbed by a second hybridization probe with an acceptor fluorophore, LC-Red 640, at the 5'-end. The acceptor fluorophore then emits a light of a different wavelength that can be measured with a signal that is proportional to the amount of specific PCR product. LightCycler hybridization probes are designed for HSV-type 2 and sequence differences between HSV-type 2- and HSV-type 1 are detected by melting curve analysis. Melting curve analysis is performed following PCR amplification. Sequence differences between the PCR amplification and probe melting curves are accomplished through the use of LightCycler software.(Binnicker MJ, Espy MJ, Duresko B, Irish C, Mandrekar J: Automated processing, extraction and detection of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2: A comparative evaluation of three commercial platforms using clinical specimens. J Clin Virol. 2017 Apr;89:30-33)

PDF Report
Indicates whether the report includes an additional document with charts, images or other enriched information


Day(s) Performed
Outlines the days the test is performed. This field reflects the day that the sample must be in the testing laboratory to begin the testing process and includes any specimen preparation and processing time before the test is performed. Some tests are listed as continuously performed, which means that assays are performed multiple times during the day.

Monday through Saturday

Report Available
The interval of time (receipt of sample at Mayo Clinic Laboratories to results available) taking into account standard setup days and weekends. The first day is the time that it typically takes for a result to be available. The last day is the time it might take, accounting for any necessary repeated testing.

Same day/1 to 4 days

Specimen Retention Time
Outlines the length of time after testing that a specimen is kept in the laboratory before it is discarded

1 week

Performing Laboratory Location
Indicates the location of the laboratory that performs the test


Several factors determine the fee charged to perform a test. Contact your U.S. or International Regional Manager for information about establishing a fee schedule or to learn more about resources to optimize test selection.

  • Authorized users can sign in to Test Prices for detailed fee information.
  • Clients without access to Test Prices can contact Customer Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Prospective clients should contact their account representative. For assistance, contact Customer Service.

Test Classification
Provides information regarding the medical device classification for laboratory test kits and reagents. Tests may be classified as cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used per manufacturer instructions, or as products that do not undergo full FDA review and approval, and are then labeled as an Analyte Specific Reagent (ASR) product.

This test was developed using an analyte specific reagent. Its performance characteristics were determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information
Provides guidance in determining the appropriate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code(s) information for each test or profile. The listed CPT codes reflect Mayo Clinic Laboratories interpretation of CPT coding requirements. It is the responsibility of each laboratory to determine correct CPT codes to use for billing.

CPT codes are provided by the performing laboratory.

87529 x 2

87999 (if appropriate for government payers)

LOINC® Information
Provides guidance in determining the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) values for the order and results codes of this test. LOINC values are provided by the performing laboratory.

Test Id Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
HSVPB Herpes Simplex Virus, PCR, B 93440-6
Result Id Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
Applies only to results expressed in units of measure originally reported by the performing laboratory. These values do not apply to results that are converted to other units of measure.
618330 HSV 1 PCR, B 93439-8
618331 HSV 2 PCR, B 93438-0

Test Setup Resources

Setup Files
Test setup information contains test file definition details to support order and result interfacing between Mayo Clinic Laboratories and your Laboratory Information System.

Excel | Pdf

Sample Reports
Normal and Abnormal sample reports are provided as references for report appearance.

Normal Reports | Abnormal Reports

SI Sample Reports
International System (SI) of Unit reports are provided for a limited number of tests. These reports are intended for international account use and are only available through MayoLINK accounts that have been defined to receive them.

SI Normal Reports | SI Abnormal Reports

Test Update Resources

Change Type Effective Date
New Test 2022-12-20
New Test 2022-12-20