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Antibody Tests
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Antibody Tests

Dear All,

I have a question regarding herpes blood testing and antibodies.

I recently took a test to determine whether or not I have herpes. I've got some confusing results which I would appreciate any help with.

IgG antibodies were negative for type 1 and 2 however, IgM antibodies were positive for both types.

Does this test indicate that I do indeed have type 2, as well as type 1? I am confused as I had a genital lesion in March which was swabbed and came back as type 1 so I was expecting a postive result for that, but not 2.

The lab explained that the absence of IgG antibodies could mean a recent infection/exposure. Is this correct? My doctor explained that it probably meant that I was developing a lesion at the time (I have had none).

My last sexual relationship was in march.

Are IgM antibodies those which appear after a recent infection and IgG those which prove a longstanding infection?

The reason i ask is that prior to my girlfriend, the only other person I have slept with was over 15 months ago, in March 2007.

My doctor explained that herpes antibodies fluctuate depending on whether or not a lesion is present or appearing and as such, would explain my lack of IgG antibodies. Is this true? I thought that they remained constant, though I'm not a doctor.

Lots of question I know, but I am confused :(

Thanks for all the help.
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10 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Ok, now I am totally confused. I've just had a look at previous posts (should have done that before) and Dr. H says that IgM are extremely unreliable and frequently give false positives. Help please :((

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Avatar_n_tn
OK, just to make it clear, the last time I had sex was at the very beginning of March, which from my understanding is more than enough time to develop IgG antibodies.

Is this right?

Thanks ever so much again.

Alex
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh, and the test I had done is called BMD ImmunoDot. Doesn't make sense to me, but maybe someone else will recognise it.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry, final question. Can one have a chronic/longterm herpes infection and not show IgG antibodies, but have IgM?

Thanks!
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101028_tn?1348750963
You already know you have hsv1 genitally. You didn't really need to get a blood test at all.

totally disregard the igm results. You've already read how useless they are so why question it?

grace
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks grace. Having read several posts, it is clear that ihm results don't count for much at all.

I was wondering if you could perhaps help me with one other thing. My doctor told me that IgG antibodies fluctuate, depending on whether or not one is having an outbreak. Is this true? I was under the impression that they remained constant.

Also, does the presence of IgM antibodies, but not IgG point towards a recent infection or exposure to the virus as the IgG ones haven't had time to develop. Just trying to determine if I picked up the virus in the last few months as opposed to over a year ago, for example.

Thanks

Alex
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101028_tn?1348750963
You can not ascertain anything at all from + igm antibodies.

Even the best blood tests we have for herpes still miss 1 out of every 10 hsv1 infections so even going by a negative igg on the blood tests is still iffy though a good indicator that it could be a new infection for you.

igg results will flucuate somewhat but won't be higher during ob's or anything like that. They flucuate from day to day differences in our bodies as well as in different batches of tests run as well as from lab to lab/test to test but yes for most folks ( who aren't pregnant ) once + you will stay +.

grace
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks grace. my doctor implied that igg levels could flucutuate from + to - and so forth which i found strange.
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Avatar_m_tn
so how many herpes test would you have to take to make sure you dont have it
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101028_tn?1348750963
If you are negative at the 4 month mark post possible infection - it's very unlikely you actually have hsv2.  There aren't many times when it's worthwhile to continue testing past the 4 month mark.  

grace
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