The polymerase chain reaction was used to detect HSV-1 DNA in genomic DNA extracted from peripheral blood leucocytes, in patients with Behcet's syndrome (BS), patients with recurrent oral ulcers and normal healthy controls. A 211-bp HSV-1 DNA fragment was found in a significant number of patients with BS (p <0.02). Serum anti-HSV-1 antibodies were also found in a higher proportion of patients with BS (p <0.02) than in healthy controls. However, virus-specific DNA was not detected in biopsy samples taken from oral ulcers in patients with BS.


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