Document Type: Original Article

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Abstract

Background: The diagnosis of herpes simplex virus may requirevirological confirmation. Tzanck smear is an old, rapid, costeffective but nonspecific method that has been recently re-evaluatedas a method for the diagnosis of herpes virus infection. This studywas conducted to compare Tzanck smear and viral culture in thediagnosis of herpes simplex virus infection in patients clinicallysuspected to be infected with this virus.Method: Materials obtained from a fresh vesicle were used toprepare Tzanck smears and viral cultures.Result: In this study, 40 (71.4%) of the 56 samples were culturepositive while Tzanck smears were positive in 36 (64.3%) patients.We found that the sensitivity and specificity of the Tzanck testwas 90% and 100% respectively when compared to cell culture.Moreover, the positive predictive value (PPV) and negativepredictive value (NPV) of the Tzanck test was 100% and 80%,respectively.Conclusion: The Tzanck smear has its limitations but is still asuitable rapid, easy, and cost effective diagnostic method forherpes simplex virus infections, especially when viral cultureor other virological methods are not available.

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