Intended for healthcare professionals


Longitudinal study of genital infection by herpes simplex virus type 1 in western Scotland over 15 years

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 08 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1366
  1. Anne Scoular, consultant physiciana (,
  2. John Norrie, assistant directorb,
  3. Graeme Gillespie, biomedical scientistc,
  4. Noreen Mir, consultant physiciand,
  5. W F Carman, directorc
  1. a Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Sandyford Initiative, Glasgow G3 7NB
  2. b Robertson Centre for Biostatistics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ
  3. c West of Scotland Specialist Virology Centre, Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow G12 0XN
  4. d Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Russell Institute, Paisley PA1 1UR
  1. Correspondence to: A Scoular
  • Accepted 3 December 2001

Although herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is regarded as causing most cases of genital herpes, preliminary reports suggest that the type 1 virus (HSV-1) is increasingly the cause of infection.1 Recurrence rates, viral shedding, and the mode of acquiring HSV-1 infection are different from those for HSV-2, so counselling and clinical management strategies may need to be revised. We studied longitudinal trends in laboratory reports of genital HSV-1 infection.

Methods and results

The West of Scotland Specialist Virology Centre processes 99% of all herpes simplex virus culture samples in the region. All genital samples of herpes simplex processed between 1 January 1986 and 31 December 2000 were reviewed for source of referral, patient's sex and age (stratified into seven bands: ≤20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41-45, and >45 years), and the type of virus isolated.

Samples were cultured and then typed using fluorescein labelled monoclonal antibodies to HSV-1 …

View Full Text