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.
Herpes Antibodies Levels With and Without Outbreak
Hi Community, I'm posting a question completely out of curiosity, as I have not found much information on the subject matter.
My question(s) is:
1.) During (or immediately after) an active outbreak, a person's antibody levels should be higher, thus easier to pick up on the current IgG blood tests such as HerpesSelect. However has there been any research or knowledge as to what antibody levels become or "settle down" to when you're in between outbreaks? As in will someone still test positive or will they perhaps slip into the negative or equivocal category?
2.) Has anyone in the community ever had a positive outbreak, correlated with a positive HerpesSelect and then later tested (for whatever reason) and your numerical values for the test was equivocal or negative. I'm very interested especially if people have ever tested negative or have had changing results with the HerpesSelect (Positive/Negative/Equivocal/Negative...etc)
3.) For what I can find, these results are much more likely with HSV-1 as HerpesSelect has a sensitivity of around 91-95% for HSV1 and about 96-98% for HSV-2. Meaning that approximately 1/10 times it may not pick up a persons HSV-1 however, it is very unlikely 1/20 to not pick up HSV-2 especially if you've had the test multiple times at the proper time intervals (3-4 months after a possible exposure)
I personally could not find any information about antibody levels, as in with HerpesSelect would you stay above the 3.5 ratio value if you've never had an outbreak AND if you were positively infected or would it be lower. Also there's also the idea that there's some cross reactivity from HSV-1 to HSV-2 results for HerpesSelect along with the higher chance of false positives (again why many health professionals don't usually recommend testing without "high risk" behavior or outbreaks) so if anyone can comment on their experiences, which turned out to be false positives and how you went around to solve it, it would be a great benefit to the community as many people, although tested negative, are still riddled with guilt and uncertainty. Thanks again community for your time, everyone who comments is a great help!
The issue is that IgG antibodies are just one of 80 different immune responses including antibody proteins to the virus. Hence a test result of just one protein doesn't tell you anything really about your body's overall state in addressing the virus.
The vast majority of people, even when their IgG system is at a low point will test above 3.5 and almost certainly above 1.1. Low IgG levels does not necessarily correlate with an outbreak. Seroreversion is a rare occurrence in people who have had the virus for a very long time.
HSV1 has more testing issues for reasons not well understood. There are more strains of HSV1 than HSV2 for example and you can only use one in preparing a test for example, but who really knows.
I'm curious to see others answers to your questions as well. I've been searching for answers myself because of my situation. Have had negative herpeselect in the past but recently after an encounter have had 3 low positives and one negative biokit. My partner is negative via herpeselect hsv 2 so I'm not sure what's going on. I have had no signs or symptoms just a 1.8 hsv 2 on herpeselect. I'm waiting results on my 4th! Herpeselect to see what my antibody count is 14 weeks post possible exposure. I will pursue another biokit at 16 weeks and if it's negative I'll be dropping the issue and move on with my life.
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