Why Do I Need Herpes Simplex Virus Test
The Herpes Virus test is needed in the following conditions:
- To figure out the reason behind the sores around the mouth and/or in the genital area.
- To check if the sexual partner of a person with genital herpes is also infected with HSV
- For the diagnosis of neonatal herpes in newborns, whose mums are infected with genital herpes
Herpes Simplex Virus 1
Herpes Simplex Virus 1 is a strain of the herpes simplex virus. People may believe that HSV-1 is the same thing as oral herpes, and that it always causes cold sores to appear on the mouth or facial region, but thats not always true. HSV-1 can be acquired in the genital region, creating genital HSV-1.
Similarly, HSV-2 is popularly known as genital herpes, but HSV-2 can be acquired in the facial region creating oral HSV-2. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are nearly identical they share 50% of their DNA and produce almost indistinguishable symptoms. This is why its important to get tested for both strains of the disease.
What Is Herpes Simplex Virus Test
Herpes Simplex Virus test is basically a blood test designed for the screening of genital herpes infection among those having genital sores or encephalitis. This test is also administered to newborns suspected of being infected with neonatal herpes.
Although rare, it is a serious condition where the baby contracts herpes during vaginal birth. Person suffering from STDs are also asked to undergo genital herpes test. The herpes simplex virus test is also recommended when a person showcases the following symptoms
- Blisters that burst causing painful sores
- Pain when passing urine, especially women
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Why Is The Igm Hsv Antibodies Test No Longer Recommended
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the American Society for Microbiology all recommend the use of the IgG antibodies test over the IgM HSV test.
IgG tests are preferred because:
- For herpes, IgG and IgM antibodies show up around the same time â normally, IgM antibodies appear first.
- IgM antibodies may only last a few months and may not be made after the first outbreak â but IgG antibodies last indefinitely and are made during all outbreaks.
- IgG antibodies can distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 and IgM antibodies canât.
Taking A Genital Or Oral Herpes Test
Testing for genital and oral herpes may be performed with a blood sample or a sample of fluid swabbed or scraped from a sore. Both types of samples are collected by a health professional when conducted at a doctors offices, clinic, or community organization.
If a patient is experiencing an outbreak, a doctor can collect a sample for testing by swabbing or scraping a sore. Material from the sore can be used for a herpes viral culture, PCR testing,
A Tzanck smear or an antibody test.
If a patient is not currently experiencing an outbreak, a blood test may be used to identify HSV antibodies. If a doctor suspects a brain infection with HSV, a lumbar puncture may be performed to obtain a sample of cerebrospinal fluid for analysis.
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Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Igg Test
The word herpes’ means to crawl or creep in Greek. This is how the Herpes Simplex Virus gets infected too. The virus crawls and sneaks into the cells of the body affecting the nerve pathways. Herpes simplex virus types 1 and two belong to the family of Herpesviridae. If this virus is present in the body, infection occurs from mild stomatitis to keratitis, genital tract infections, aseptic meningitis, chicken pox, and other fatal diseases. Herpes simplex virus test is also known by the name of HSV test. HSV tests are done to identify if there is a presence of the same in the body through samples from the blister, sore or fluid. It helps to diagnose acute herpes infected in the body. The HSV test is done under clinical findings and PCR culture at the laboratory testing. In case of unrecognized HSV infection, serologic testing for IgG-class antibodies is done.
There is not much of test preparation that is needed. All that a healthcare practitioner does is swabs or scraps from a blister or sore in the genital area.On suspect of meningitis or encephalitis, a sample of cerebrospinal fluid is collected from the spinal column. To test antibody, blood samples are taken by inserting the needle in the vein of the arm.For this-The practitioner uses an alcohol pad to clean the skin area.Blood samples are taken from the rinsed skin area of the arm mostly.The collected blood in the nozzle is then saved in tiny bottles under the patient’s name.
A Interviews Of Pregnant Mothers
With informed consent, each mother was questioned during an antenatal visit or in the delivery room. A trained female physician with two trained nurses performed face-to-face interviews at the hospital using a structured questionnaire under standardized conditions. The questionnaire was designed to collect detailed information on socio-demographic characteristics lifestyle and habits medical history. The sociodemographic and lifestyle variables considered to be of importance included: age, nationality, consanguinity, education level, education level of husband, monthly family income, occupation, number of family members, number of children below five years and past history of sexually transmitted infections. The interviewers were blind to the HSV serological status of the subjects and were unaware of the study hypotheses. They were trained to treat all subjects the same way.
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Patients Materials And Methods
This was a hospital-based cross-sectional study conducted at King Fahd Hospital of the University in Al Khobar city, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The study population consisted of all pregnant mothers who delivered in the third trimester. The period of the study was two years . Techniques used for data collection included:
Finding Out The Hard Way
No good data exist on how often patients with questionable positive results are actually re-tested. Until the 2015 update, CDC herpes testing guidelines had no mention of confirmatory testing for low-positive results, said Johnston. So patients often discovered the option not through their doctors, but through searching the web and reading online herpes forums.
That was the experience of Bryan, a 40-year-old man who lives in Indiana, who wrongly believed he had herpes for about two months in 2011. The misunderstanding actually put him at higher risk, he said: During those months he considered joining the hundreds of thousands of Americans on dating sites for herpes-positive people. Exclusively dating people with herpes would have increased his likelihood of contracting the virus.
The experience of YT, a 33-year-old mom who has suffered from frequent herpes symptoms over the last year, shows another side of the testing breakdown. She believes she was given HSV by a partner who didnt realize herpes wasnt included in his previous STD tests, she told STAT. Having herpes has caused her significant emotional trauma, and has driven her to permanently swear off dating. Had her partner known his true status, she wonders if her story would have been different.
People call and say, I just dont know whats going on, he said. Weve almost become de facto counselors.
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Does My Healthcare Provider Include A Blood Test For Genital Herpes When They Test Me For Everything
Herpes blood tests may or may not be part of the tests your healthcare provider gives you. They may choose tests based on several factors .
They will also evaluate you for signs or symptoms of herpes to choose which tests to use. This is why its important to talk openly and honestly with your provider during your visit. Ask them which infections they are and are not testing you for and why.
How Painful Is Herpes Simplex
Some people experience very mild genital herpes symptoms or no symptoms at all. Frequently, people infected with the virus dont even know they have it. However, when it causes symptoms, it can be described as extremely painful. This is especially true for the first outbreak, which is often the worst. Outbreaks are described as aches or pains in or around the genital area or burning, pain, or difficulty urinating. Some people experience discharge from the or .
Oral herpes lesions usually cause tingling and burning just prior to the breakout of the blisters. The blisters themselves can also be painful.
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Is The Herpes Simplex Virus Igg Test Recommended For Pregnant Women
Herpes Simplex Virus IgG Test is highly recommended in pregnant women to diagnose if she has an active Herpes virus infection. Herpes Virus infection is easily transmittable to the unborn who can get adversely affected. Hence, it is essential for a pregnant woman to undergo the Herpes Simplex Virus I IgG Test.
What Is The Procedure For The Blood Test For The Herpes Simplex Virus Igg Test
The Herpes Simplex Virus IgG Test is carried out using a blood sample that is collected by the process of venipuncture. The procedure is as follows: A tourniquet is wrapped around the upper arm to make the veins more prominent. A syringe or needle is used to draw blood by puncturing the vein. The blood is drawn into the tube of the syringe. The tourniquet is unwrapped. An antiseptic is applied to the spot of venipuncture to avoid any infection. The spot of injection of the syringe is dabbed by a cotton swab or a bandage is put to stop any further bleeding. The blood sample is then sent to the laboratory for the Herpes Simplex Virus IgG Test. In the case of infants, the blood sample is collected from the heels of the infant with a simple pinprick.
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Why The Test Is Performed
The test is done to find out whether a person has ever been infected with oral or genital herpes. It looks for antibodies to herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2 . An antibody is a substance made by the body’s immune system when it detects harmful substances such as the herpes virus. This test does not detect the virus itself.
Who Is At Risk Of Developing Herpes Simplex Infections
Anyone can contract HSV, regardless of age. Your risk is based almost entirely on exposure to the infection.
In cases of sexually transmitted HSV, people are more at risk when they have sex not protected by condoms or other barrier methods.
Other risk factors for HSV-2 include:
- having multiple sex partners
- having another sexually transmitted infection
- having a weakened immune system
If a pregnant woman is having an outbreak of genital herpes at the time of childbirth, it can expose the baby to both types of HSV, and may put them at risk for serious complications.
Its important to understand that someone may not have visible sores or symptoms and still have an infection. They may also transmit the virus to others.
Some of the symptoms associated with this virus include:
- blistering sores
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Which Test Should I Ask For
According to the American Sexual Health Association, a culture taken within 48 hours of your first herpes outbreak will yield the most reliable results. A culture retrieved beyond this period or during a later outbreak is more likely to yield a false negative result.
Although the CDC currently does not recommend testing for herpes when there are no symptoms present, blood testing can provide you with an accurate result without the presence of sores. The most accurate blood test detects IgG antibodies of the herpes virus. An antibody is the bodys immune response to the virus, since the virus itself is undetectable in the bloodstream. Antibodies take a longer period of time to develop, so it’s possible for someone to have herpes lesions yet test negative on an IgG blood test. It is recommended that a second test be done 12 weeks after the first outbreak to be sure.
Wouldnt Testing Everyone Stop The Spread Of Genital Herpes
We dont know. There is no evidence that diagnosing genital herpes with a blood test in someone without symptoms would change their sexual behavior and stop the virus from spreading. In addition, without knowing the benefits of testing, the risk of shaming and stigmatizing people outweighs the potential benefits. For these reasons, testing everyone for herpes is not recommended at this time.
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Immunoassay For The Qualitative Determination Of Igg
Herpes Simplex Virus 1 is mainly transmitted by oral-to-oral contact during childhood, but also sexually later in life.1 The global prevalence of HSV-1 infection is estimated to be 67%, with highest prevalence in Africa, South-East Asia and Western Pacific.1
A primary infection with HSV is often associated with the development of painful watery blisters that release an infectious exudate. Typical sites are the mouth, lips or genitals .2 Recurrent skin lesions are the hallmark of HSV pathogenesis.
Orofacial herpes manifestations are usually caused by HSV-1, whereas genital herpes is mainly caused by HSV-2.2 However, the new estimates highlight that HSV-1 is also an important cause of genital herpes.2 HSV-1 and HSV-2 can also be transmitted vertically before birth or perinatally during delivery.1 Such infections may have severe, if not fatal, consequences for the fetus/newborn.1 Subclinical viral shedding and unrecognized infections seem to be major factors in transmission, therefore laboratory tests are key for a correct diagnosis.
Type-specific serologic tests for the detection of IgG, based on the use of recombinant HSV-1 glycoprotein G and the recombinant HSV-2 glycoprotein G , allow the distinction between HSV-1 and HSV-2.3,4 This is important for a proper development of strategies to prevent transmission to partners and neonates, counselling, and management of the disease. IgM testing is not recommended in routine clinical practice.4,5,6
Take Charge Of Your Health
Oral herpes can be transmitted by kissing, sharing eating utensils or drinks, or during sex. Since oral herpes can be contracted from both Type 1 and Type 2 strains of the Herpes Simplex Virus, our doctors recommend getting tested for both of these HSV strains at the same time.
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What Happens During An Hsv Test
HSV testing is usually done as a swab test, blood test, or lumbar puncture. The type of test you get will depend on your symptoms and health history.
- For a swab test, a health care provider will use a swab to collect fluid and cells from a herpes sore.
- For a blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
- A lumbar puncture, also called a spinal tap, is only done if your provider thinks you may have an infection of the brain or spinal cord. During a spinal tap:
- You will lie on your side or sit on an exam table.
- A health care provider will clean your back and inject an anesthetic into your skin, so you won’t feel pain during the procedure. Your provider may put a numbing cream on your back before this injection.
- Once the area on your back is completely numb, your provider will insert a thin, hollow needle between two vertebrae in your lower spine. Vertebrae are the small backbones that make up your spine.
- Your provider will withdraw a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid for testing. This will take about five minutes.
- Your provider may ask you to lie on your back for an hour or two after the procedure. This may prevent you from getting a headache afterward.
Genital Herpes Is Common Shouldnt Cdc Recommend Testing For Everyone
CDC recommends herpes testing for people who have genital symptoms to confirm if they have it. Testing allows a healthcare provider to talk with patients about what to expect in the future. This includes talking about medications that help with symptoms. Providers can also tell patients how to lower the risk of transmitting herpes to sex partner.
CDC does not recommend herpes testing for people without symptoms in most situations. This is because of the limits of a herpes blood test and the possibility of a wrong test result. The chances of wrong test results are higher for people who are at low risk of infection.
Blood tests might be useful if:
- You have genital symptoms that could be related to herpes, or
- You have a sex partner with genital herpes, or
- Your provider found signs of herpes, but you still need a test to confirm it.
If you are sexually active, talk openly and honestly with your healthcare provider about what tests are right for you. These tips can help.
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How Can You Get Hsv
All strains of the herpes virus are extremely contagious and can be spread through saliva, sores, and skin-to-skin contact where the outbreaks occur. The herpes virus sheds, releasing traces of the virus periodically, even without visible symptoms. This means that its able to be contracted even when sores are not present. However, the virus is most contagious when sores are present.
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Diseases Caused By Herpes Simplex Virus
Central nervous system infection
Neonatal herpes Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infection Neonatal herpes simplex virus infection is usually transmitted during delivery. A typical sign is vesicular eruption, which may be accompanied by or progress to disseminated disease. Diagnosis read more
HSV rarely causes fulminant hepatitis in the absence of cutaneous lesions.
is a complication of HSV infection in which severe herpetic disease develops in skin regions with eczema.
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