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ELVIS:  A New 24-Hour Culture Test for Detecting Herpes Simplex Virus From Ocular Samples

Regis P. Kowalski, MS, M(ASCP); Lisa M. Karenchak, BS, M(ASCP); Chirag Shah, MD; Jerold S. Gordon, MD
Arch Ophthalmol. 2002;120(7):960-962. doi:10.1001/archopht.120.7.960.
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Objective  To compare ELVIS (Enzyme Linked Virus Inducible System) (BioWhittaker, Walkersville, Md), a new, simple, 24-hour cell culture test for detecting herpes simplex virus (HSV), with standard cell culture and Herpchek (NEN, Boston, Mass) for detecting HSV in ocular specimens.

Methods  Retrospectively, 36 true-positive frozen-stock ocular samples that were cell-culture positive for HSV, and 25 true-negative samples (varicella-zoster virus, adenovirus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus viridans) were tested with ELVIS. Herpchek was processed at the time of initial clinical laboratory testing. Prospectively, 422 patients were tested for HSV with standard cell culture, ELVIS, and Herpchek. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and efficacy of ELVIS based on positive and negative cell cultures were determined.

Results  Retrospectively, ELVIS was 86.1% sensitive (31/36), 100% specific (25/25), and 91.8% efficient (56/61). The positive predictive value was 100% (31/31), and the negative predictive value was 83.3% (25/30). The sensitivity of ELVIS was equivalent to Herpchek (80.5%, 29/36) (P = .53). Prospectively, the sensitivity of ELVIS (84.8%, 28/33) was equivalent to that of Herpchek (84.8%, 28/33).

Conclusions  ELVIS is an easy HSV diagnostic test that can provide faster positive culture results than standard cell culture, and it is equally sensitive but less time-consuming than Herpchek.

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Positive ELVIS (Enzyme Linked Virus Inducible System) test for herpes simplex virus. Blue staining denotes the intracellular accumulation of the bacterial enzyme, β-galactosidase, which is generated by herpes simplex virus–infected cells.

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