This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding herpes issues such as: Herpes symptoms and treatments, causes, diagnosis, and herpes in men, tests, telling your spouse or partner.
HSV: IGG(Anti-bodies) vs. PCR (DNA-Blood testing) vs. Western Blot testing
I have a question about which test it the best to determine if one does or doesn't have HSV-1, HSV-2 (Herpes).
I recently tested positive when my doctor made me do the IGG testing (anti-bodies). So I guess my body is fighting the herpes virus inside me. I would like to know more about PCR DNA testing and Western Blot testing and whats the difference with both of these in their approach and how they find HSV?
Okay say, hypothetically, I took either one or both these test right now and they both can out positive for HSV Then I get myself retested, say 6 months from now, got a negative results either from PCR-DNA or Western Blot or other both. Could I say I'm herpes free? Cause the PCR could not find any DNA of the virus in me?
Which test is more definitive in saying yes this person has or doesn't have HSV?
Thank you for responding to my questions.
At the time you commented on my question I didn't not have the paper work that the lab had sent to my doctor. I did stop by his office and got photo copies of the results he/his office received. Unfortunately it doesn't say much :(
"Herpes Simplex Virus IgG 30/Oct/2012
Anti HSV IgG **
Evidence of past infection with HSV. This assay does not distinguish between antibody to HSV 1 or 2.
*/** General Laboratory - Abnormal Text Result"
I want to go back to my doctor and tell him to get me the test that tells me the numbers for HSV-1 and HSV-2. What is that test called?
Why wouldn't you want to get a PCR-DNA blood test for herpes?
My doctor said he liked PCR tests :S
Would everyone test Negative if they got this test done even if they actually did have herpes? What about the spinal fluid PCR testing??
I'm going to be making another appointment with my doctor to go the other test done. I remember him telling me that we could find out how old the infection is but I know when (when I was 18/19 years old - I'm 23 now) and then he said and we could find out which one is it but we know that already (HSV-2 I've had an outbreak). But for personal knowledge I'm going to ask for it done anyways.
In what instance is PRC testing on CSF done for herpes?
Is a Western Blot test good for herpes? Whats the difference between PCR and a Western Blot test if they are both test done by drawing out blood? Will I always be Positive with IgG anti body test?
Its been over a year and half since I’ve last posted here and my last outbreak. I'm currently experiencing one right now. Again I turn my attention in dealing with HSV and arming myself with more medical literature on this topic. As I read through the information I’ve gathered before and all resources I've found, including the handbook linked above, my questions from a year ago have still yet to be answered. Nowhere in the handbook speaks specially about PRC blood testing. It only talks about PRC swab/culture testing. It even has its own section on blood testing but there is no mention of blood testing with PRC. Again my question from before still stand.
1) If PCR-DNA blood test for herpes is completely useless, then why do lab companies like LabCorp even offered them patients, let alone exist?
2) Are you implying that everyone tests Negative if they did a PCR-DNA blood test or a Western Blot blood test even if they are in fact infected with herpes?
3) Would a spinal fluid PCR-DNA test on a herpes infect person demonstrate that same negative result?
4) What test is more definitive in saying yes this person has or doesn't have HSV without using anti-bodies as a marker and while not physically experiencing an outbreak?
Please bring some clarity by answering these questions.
1. It is simply fact that people with HSV infections do not have the virus in their blood generally. You can perform a PCR on anything. For HSV PCR is very useful on swabbed lesions and other fluids from spinal taps etc. trying to detect whether the virus has gone traveling in the body and causing serious issues. I do not know why some doctors order the tests in the hope of a general diagnosis. I have no idea why labs do the tests, they're just order takers.
2. Infected people will just about always test negative with blood PCR. Every now and again they may test positive if the virus is 'active' and shedding into the bloodstream.
Westernblot is an entirely different test. It looks for the antibodies to the virus and not the virus itself. These are blood borne. Hence over 99% of infected people test positive on Westernblot.
3. Only if the virus has spread internally to the central nerve system would a spinal tap reveal the virus.
4. The Westernblot is the best test. Your antibodies are always present whether you are having an outbreak or not. You can have the test anytime.
However for you a good starting place is a commercial IgG antibody test type specific for HSV1 and HSV2. Have you had this test?
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.