Data are accumulating on the performance of enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) for the detection of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection in North America and Europe, but little is known about their performance in other populations. Nine test kits were evaluated with 330 serum samples from sub-Saharan Africa. The tests were first compared to the monoclonal antibody (MAb) EIA (Central Public Health Laboratory, London, United Kingdom). Samples that gave discordant results in the MAb EIA and in the three tests that performed best compared to the MAb EIA were tested by Western blotting (University of Washington, Seattle). A random sample of concordant samples was also tested, and the sensitivities and specificities of the different tests were calculated, taking into account this sampling strategy. The sensitivities of the tests ranged from 86 to 100%; the specificities ranged from 47 to 99%. The tests that performed best were the Gull Premier EIA (sensitivity, 86.3%; specificity, 97.6%) and the Kalon Biological (sensitivity, 92.3%; specificity, 97.7%) and Biokit (sensitivity, 86.7%; specificity, 92.6%) tests. It cannot be assumed that enzyme immunoassays for the detection of HSV-2 infection that perform well in industrialized countries will perform equally well in other populations.
Van Dyck, E.; Buve, A.; Weiss, H.A.; Glynn, J.R.; Brown, D.W.G.; Deken, B. de; Parry, J.; Hayes, R.J. Performance of Commercially Available Enzyme Immunoassays for Detection of Antibodies against Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 in African Populations. Journal of Clinical Microbiology (2004) 42 (7) 2961-2965. [DOI: 10.1128/JCM.42.7.2961-2965.2004]