Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

Culture accuracy

How accurate is a herpes lesion culture? About 6 months ago I went to my doc with numerous open painful sores around my legs (none on my face or genitals). He said it looked like a herpetic infection. He looked at a swab under a microscope and said it looked like herpes. He sent a sample to a lab for a culture but it came back negative for herpes (either type) but positive for staph. At the time I was taking valtrex. He then put me on antibiotics. The sores eventually went away but I am not sure which drug was responsible. I had never experienced any cold sore of any type prior to this breakout.

Today I seem to be developing similar sores on the back of my knees. I'm wondering if this is indeed a herpes recurrence or another staph infection. I am going to get a blood test for herpes at a clinic as I am in between health  care coverage so can't really see my derm for another culture.

Thanks!
16 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
101028 tn?1419603004
I'm sure if you google staph skin infections you'll get better info than I"d give you. I know there are some precautions to take with laundry too - think it's a dryer set on high but I forget for how long . Also if you use a body buff thingee in the shower - toss it.    

glad at least that you are feeling better :)

grace
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
ok, the culture and the blood tests were both negative. the lesion seems to be responding to topical bactroban. Unfortunately the doc just did a viral culture so he only knows its not herpes. What could this be? Is it bacteria that lays dormant and presents every now and then. Is there some long term anti-biotics I can take? im really confused. He said to wait for another episode and come in for another culture. I can't really seek a 2nd opinion due to my insurance circumstance.

thanks!
Helpful - 0
101028 tn?1419603004
you've had a negative herpesblood test7 months post possible infection.  Add to that the severity of your  symptoms , it's unlikely to be  herpes going on.  Follow  up on this with  a  different provider. you already had a + staph culture before,not unusual for that to come back.

grace
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
do the sores hurt?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Your situation sounds SOOO similar to mine. I too have been tested for both.  I'm positive with MRSA (taking an antibiotic-minocycline), but negative for herpes2 (blood test).  I keep having reoccuring sores on the shaft of my penis as well as reoccuring ulcer looking sores on my scrotum.  This mrsa is tough!  I will have a sore just pop up out of nowhere on my body. It will heal, and another one will pop up in a totally different location.  But the sore is always at the same location on my penis.
Helpful - 0
101028 tn?1419603004
I'd go for a 2nd opinion with a 2nd dermatologist.

grace
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
ok, now im really confused. I keep getting the recurrent  dispersed lesions. The locations range from my ankles to my lower back. My original culture back in June of 2008 was negative for herpes. I currently have an active lesion on my upper left buttox. I went to the doc today. He took a sample and viewed under the microscope. He said as far as he can tell it definitely appears herpetic. He took a culture for further lab testing. I'm just really confused. It really does look herpetic but my recent blood tests were negative (<.90) for both type 1 and 2. I just took another test today. I'm really freaking out here.
Helpful - 0
101028 tn?1419603004
No need for further herpes testing then if your blood test was negtive this far out.

glad you got proper evaluation and treatment for this :)

grace
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
i was able to get in contact with a family friend who is a dermatologist. He examined me and took a culture as well. He said the lesions do infact appear to be staph related. He prescribed antibiotics which seem to  be taking effect already (payed out of pocket for those) Just to be safe, I also got a herpes select blood test which showed i'm negative for both types. Since I haven't had any exposure within the past 7 months, i'm hoping i'm in the clear now.
Helpful - 0
101028 tn?1419603004
the original test for herpes your provider did sounds like it was a tzanck smear which isn't a very accurate way to diagnose herpes.  I have a feeling if that was never done, you wouldn't be giving a 2nd thought to herpes and would just be thinking your skin infection was back?  If you know you'll have health insurance again in a few months, I'd wait and repeat the herpes blood test then.

Do you have a low cost clinic or free clinic near you to go to to get this looked at?

And yes , you can have both herpes and staph at the same time and you can have herpes lesions in the areas you've had symptoms in but it's higher chance of being something non- herpes in those locations.

grace

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have made an appt with a doctor ( will pay out of pocket) for further testing. The lesions do appear to be herpes like,  but again they are around my knees and now lower thighs. Sorry to keep beating this, but is it possible for a culture test to be positive for both herpes and staph? in other words, is it possible the test just missed the HSV?

Thanks again
Helpful - 0
101028 tn?1419603004
Oh yeah, they can be pretty painful :(

grace
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
do staph infections typically hurt? These lesions sting pretty bad.

Thanks again
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks for the quick response!
Helpful - 0
101028 tn?1419603004
Oh and negative herpes lesion cultures aren't all that accurate.  From the location of your lesions as well as staph being detected, more likely you have staph issues than you do herpes but cover the base at some point just in case.

grace
Helpful - 0
101028 tn?1419603004
I'd go and be seen today or tomorrow ( monday if you need to since it's a weekend ) and get re- evaluated for staph. Sometimes they can be a booger to get rid of.  Follow up with the herpes igg blood test when you can afford to to see what your status is.

grace
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Herpes Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.
Millions of people are diagnosed with STDs in the U.S. each year.
STDs can't be transmitted by casual contact, like hugging or touching.
Syphilis is an STD that is transmitted by oral, genital and anal sex.