Detection of herpes simplex virus DNA in semen of men with genital HSV- 2 infection

Anna Wald, Pam Matson, Alexander Ryncarz, Lawrence Corey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Previous studies, using viral culture, have suggested that herpes simplex virus (HSV) isolation from semen is rare. This study attempts to investigate further the role of semen in sexual transmission of HSV. Goals of this Study: To evaluate semen samples for HSV DNA with a sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Study Design: Laboratory examination of 255 stored semen samples collected from 15 healthy men with genital HSV-2 infection during a prospective clinical trial. Results: Herpes simplex virus DNA was detected in 8 (3.1%) semen samples, 6 of which were collected during a herpes recurrence. Herpes simplex virus DNA was not detected in any of the 18 samples collected during acyclovir therapy. Conclusion: Herpes simplex DNA can be detected in semen, although it appears closely associated with clinical HSV reactivation. More detailed studies will be needed to assess the role HSV-2 in semen plays in transmission of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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