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Glycoprotein Deficient Strain of Herpes
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Glycoprotein Deficient Strain of Herpes

Hi,

I was exposed to herpes 2 months ago. Since then I have been blood tested 1 day after exposure, 4 weeks after, and 10 weeks after...all using herpeSelect tests, all negative for HSV-1 and HSV-2. however, I have had herpes symptoms occuring a week after exposure til the present, including leg and inner thigh nerve pain, genital burning, genital soreness, and a recurring crack in the same place on my perineum (3 times). I had the cut cultured the first time, which was 2 days after it appeared, it came back negative. Since then, I have been refused cultures since my blood tests have come negative. However, all of these symptoms suggest herpes, but my blood tests are negative. I saw a statistic that 5-10% of people are infected with a glycoprotein deficient strain of herpes and therefore will never test postive using protein G dependent blood tests. Do you know anything about this? B/c it might help me figure out why i have all theese herpes symptoms after sleeping with someone with herpes, but having negative blood tests.  Thank you!
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I am unaware of HSV strains without glycoprotein 1 or 2, antibodies to which are detected (for HSV-1 and -2, respectively) in the HerpeSelect test; or if there are such, they comprise far, far fewer than 5-10% of strains.  A few people can have HSV infections without developing detectable antibody, but that's not because the virus lacks gG-1 or -2.

Your symptoms don't sound as typical for genital herpes as you seem to think; neuropathic symptoms without overt genital lesions is a rare presentation, if it occurs at all.  Your test results are strong reassurance that you did not acquire HSV during the exposure you describe.  That said, you could be even more certain with a negative result at 3 months or later.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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