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admin 16.04.2016

The major advantage of the culture is its accuracy in giving a positive result—generally, if you test positive by viral culture, you can be sure you have the virus.
Healthcare providers can also take a swab of an area that has symptoms and run DNA tests—known as Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAAT). Blood tests can be used when a person has no visible symptoms but has concerns about having herpes. When an individual contracts herpes, the immune system responds by developing antibodies to fight the virus: IgG and IgM. In addition, IgM tests cannot accurately distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies, and thus very easily provide a false positive result for HSV-2. IgM tests sometimes cross-react with other viruses in the same family, such as varicella zoster virus (VZV) which causes chickenpox or cytomegalovirus (CMV) which causes mono, meaning that positive results may be misleading.
The challenge here is that the time it takes for IgG antibodies to reach detectable levels can vary from person to person.
There are currently several FDA-approved, gG-based blood tests that can give accurate results for herpes. For healthcare providers, we’ve developed the Herpes Testing Toolkit, which was reviewed by leading experts in this field. Whether you’re having sex or not, below are some tips to ensure every young adult can have a healthy, safe, and satisfying life – or to simply prepare yourself for when the time comes! The American Sexual Health Association strongly supports the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to empower women and their healthcare providers by approving Flibanserin, the first drug to treat low sexual desire in females. ASHA joins national sexual health organizations in urging Facebook and other social media platforms to say no to censorship. Herpes is a viral disease caused by both Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). Herpes viruses cycle between periods of active diseasea€”presenting as blisters containing infectious virus particlesa€”that last 2a€“21 days, followed by a remission period.
Herpes simplex is most easily transmitted by direct contact with a lesion or the body fluid of an infected individual.
Hunter Handsfield, MD, and Kees Reitmeijer, MD, PhD, explain the types of herpes tests available, what tests are preferred for those with or without symptoms, and what test to avoid.
If a person does experience signs of infection, we recommend obtaining a culture test (a swab from the symptom) within the first 48 hours after a lesion appears. A culture can also be “typed” to determine whether the infection is caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2.


Because a culture works by requiring virus that is active, if a lesion is very small, or is already beginning to heal, there may not be enough virus present for an accurate culture. However, research shows that IgM can reappear in blood tests in up to a third of people during recurrences, while it will be negative in up to half of persons who recently acquired herpes but have culture-document first episodes. For one person, it could take just a few weeks, while it could ta ke a few months for another. Like any blood test, these tests cannot determine whether the site of infection is oral or genital. ASHA has created a quick reference guide to herpes blood tests, including a chart that outlines and compares the accurate, FDA-approved type-specific blood tests available for herpes simplex antibodies. The resource explains the increasing role of type-specific herpes serologic assays, presents clinical scenarios in which serologic testing are beneficial, and reviews key factors in a differential diagnosis for genital herpes.
TV shows, movies, and society as a whole create this stigma around herpes when really, there’s not too much to be scared of. Infection with the herpes virus is categorized into one of several distinct disorders based on the site of infection. Transmission may also occur through skin-to-skin contact during periods of asymptomatic shedding. Blood tests are available for people who may not have had symptoms or if the signs have already healed. Beyond 48 hours of the symptoms appearing, there is a risk of receiving a false negative test result.
Therefore, IgM tests can lead to deceptive test results, as well as false assumptions about how and when a person actually acquired HSV. A recent study corroborates this finding: labs that used non-gG-based tests for herpes had high false-positive rates for HSV-2 antibodies (14-88% saying the blood sample was positive for HSV-2) in samples that were actually only positive for HSV-1 antibodies. So even with the accurate tests, a person could receive a false negative if the test is taken too soon after contracting the virus. However, since most cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-2, a positive result for type-2 antibodies most likely indicates genital herpes.
There are close to 20 million new sexually transmitted infections diagnosed each year and nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Oral herpes, the visible symptoms of which are colloquially called cold sores or fever blisters, infects the face and mouth. After initial infection, the viruses are transported along sensory nervesto the sensory nerve cell bodies, where they become latent and reside life-long.


Barrier protection methods are the most reliable method of preventing transmission of herpes, but they merely reduce rather than eliminate risk. Recurrent infections (outbreaks) may occur from time to time, especially in times of immune impairment such as HIV and cancer-related immune suppression.
Viral culture is even less accurate during recurrences (positive in only about 30% of recurrent outbreaks).
IgM is actually the first antibody that appears after infection, but it may disappear thereafter. For this reason, we do not recommend using blood tests as a way to determine how long a person has had herpes.
But 100% of the labs using gG-based tests accurately reported that the blood sample was negative for HSV-2. For the most accurate test result, it is recommended to wait 12 – 16 weeks from the last possible date of exposure before getting an accurate, type-specific blood test in order to allow enough time for antibodies to reach detectable levels.
Causes of recurrence are uncertain, though some potential triggers have been identified, including immunosuppressant drugs (see below). However, after several years, some people will become perpetually asymptomatic and will no longer experience outbreaks, though they may still be contagious to others.
Unfortunately, most people who are diagnosed will not be able to determine how long they have had the infection.
Treatments with antivirals can reduce viral shedding and alleviate the severity of symptomatic episodes.
Other disorders such as herpetic whitlow, herpes gladiatorum, ocular herpes (keratitis), cerebral herpes infection encephalitis, Mollaret's meningitis, neonatal herpes, and possibly Bell's palsy are all caused by herpes simplex viruses.
It should not be confused with conditions caused by other viruses in the herpesviridae family such as herpes zoster, which is caused by varicella zoster virus. The differential diagnosis includes hand, foot and mouth disease due to similar lesions on the skin.



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