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In the United States alone, genital herpes simplex virus 2 infections are reaching epidemic proportions. Genital herpes while considered to be a rather benign infection does have severe complications. The most reliable herpes diagnosis for most patients is an antibody test that is specific and sensitive for Herpes Simplex Virus 2 antibodies in serum. I was hoping that someone could help me sort out some conflicting test results, and figure out the likelihood of a lab error vs. Most (90 in one study) of these people have positive blood tests for HSV with no history of symptoms or outbreaks. Psychological Stress As A Trigger For Herpes Zoster: Might The Conventional Wisdom Be Wrong? If the above diagnoses are inconclusive or if a treatment regimen has already been started, a biopsy of the affected skin (i.e.
Spray tub and bathroom floor with disinfectant after each use to help prevent reinfection and infection of other household members. Wash feet, particularly between the toes, with soap and dry thoroughly after bathing or showering.
If you have experienced an infection previously, you may want to treat your feet and shoes with over-the-counter drugs. Dry feet well after showering, paying particular attention to the web space between the toes.
Try to limit the amount that your feet sweat by wearing open-toed shoes or well-ventilated shoes, such as lightweight mesh running shoes. After any physical activity shower with a soap that has both an antibacterial and anti-fungal agent in it.
The recent herpes data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that as many as 21.9% of the population between 12 and 74 years of age are infected with herpes simplex virus 2. However, a major contributor to the rise of Herpes Simplex Virus 2 is the fact that most Herpes Simplex Virus 2 seropositive persons are unaware that they are infected with the herpes simplex virus 2.
Only about 20% of those infected with Herpes Simplex Virus 2 have symptoms that are recognized as genital herpes. Genital herpes is a chronic infection that will affect the person emotionally, physically, and sexually for the rest of their life.
These tests are new and are major improvements over older assays which did not distinguish between past Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and past Herpes Simplex Virus 2.
A PCR test can be done on cells or fluid from a sore or on blood or on other fluid, such as spinal fluid.
A positive herpes IgG test only tells you that at some point in time you acquired the herpes virus (1 or 2 or both depending on your results). Although, new diagnostic tests are now available that could definitively identify those with Herpes Simplex Virus 2.
Often these patients are misdiagnosed with another infection, thus, treated inappropriately.

Persons with past Herpes Simplex Virus 2 infections make antibodies to the Herpes Simplex Virus 2. Antibody tests are sometimes done but are not as accurate as a viral culture at finding the cause of a specific sore or ulcer. Herpes is not a blood borne infection so therefore using pcr testing for routine testing of herpes is pretty much useless. Given the severity of the illness and the availability of effective therapy, there is a need for a rapid and accurate diagnostic test for HSV encephalitis (HSE). The prevalence of genital herpes is higher among persons who attend sexually transmitted diseases (STD) clinics and in many obstetrical practices. Much of this lack of recognition is due to the unfamiliarity with the signs and symptoms of herpes which are often mild and are easily confused with other conditions.
These new assays can distinguish between antibodies to Herpes Simplex Virus 2 from Herpes Simplex Virus 1.
HSV PCR detection from CSF is a sensitive and specific alternative for detection of disease involving the CNS, as well as oral, genital, ocular, and other sites. If a viral culture taken at a clinic from an active herpes lesion is positive for herpes simplex, then this makes the diagnosis. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can be used to detect VZV DNA rapidly and sensitively in properly collected skin lesion specimens; however, PCR testing for VZV is not available in all settings. However, once taught about the symptoms of the herpes disease, the majority of people infected with Herpes Simplex Virus 2 will return to the clinic within one year with a clinically symptomatic recurrence of genital herpes.
If a pregnant woman becomes infected, especially during the third trimester, she is at increased risk of transmitting the herpes disease to her newborn.
At this time the clinician must rely on a history and ask the patient to return when there are lesions.
With both detection methods, lesion duration and morphology were associated with HSV detection.
This is a qualitative assay; results are reported either as negative or positive for herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 or HSV type 2, or HSV indeterminate. Wald et al showed in their 1997 paper that the PCR test was almost 300 more sensitive in picking up actual viral material from vaginal specimens than was the viral culture.
In these instances, a history of VZV exposure or of a rash that began with a dermatomal pattern, along with results of VZV antibody testing at or before the time of rash onset may help guide the diagnosis.
The United States is not the only country that has seen a marked increase in genital herpes in the last twenty years. In other words, with a little instruction, persons who have Herpes Simplex Virus 2 can be taught to recognize a recurrence of genital herpes. This test can be used to diagnose genital infection with herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2.
Genital herpes infections have also been associated with the increased risk of acquisition of HIV. However, viral shedding only lasts a few days and often the lesion has crusted or disappeared by the time the patients sees the clinician.

Cell culture or PCR test may give a false-negative result if the sores have begun healing or if you are recently infected. Using these experiments, we more accurately computed the test sensitivity, specificity, and misclassification rates.
This test is a type-specific Herpes Simplex Virus 2 serologic test that can give results within 15 minutes of pricking the patient’s finger.
The most important fact to know in terms of Herpes testing is that blood testing with an IgG test is the BEST test for diagnosing the disease. Lastly, Herpes Simplex Virus infection can allow HIV replication in cells previously immune to HIV. A new test which measures Herpes Simplex Virus DNA in a swab called a PCR assay may be more sensitive for detecting Herpes Simplex Virus in a lesion than a viral culture. In the past, type-specific blood tests were not always accurate because they confused other herpes virus antibodies such as varicella zoster (chicken pox) , Epstein Barr, or mononucleosis for herpes simplex (Types 1 and 2) antibodies. Know that having an accurate sexual history as well as a description of your symptoms is very important as your health care provider evaluates you. These complications emphasize the importance of letting a person know whether or not they are infected.
The PCR test locates the DNA of the herpes virus; hence, this common way of testing for the herpes simplex virus offers highly accurate results. There is a new test, dubbed the silver pap that includes a herpes PCR swab test in addition to the GC (gonorrhea and Chlamydia) tests that are performed at this time. Whereas the culture requires quick access to the lesions, PCR does not require as many virus particles for accurate testing.
This allows more time between lesion outbreak and sample collection with a lower false negative rate. One study found that herpes cultures give FALSE NEGATIVE results 76 of the time when compared to the more accurate PCR test described below. The detection of Herpes Simplex (HSV) from ocular specimens is essential for prompt and accurate therapy. In our laboratory, all clinical ocular samples suspected of possible HSV infection are tested with standard cell culture, ELVIS, and PCR. Both Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV 1) and Herpes simplex type 2 (HSV 2) can infect the genital area.
Yes, there are blood tests for Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 (HSV1 and HSV2) but they are not recommended in adolescents or adults who are asymptomatic. If a PCR test from a swab of a sore is positive, you can be pretty sure herpes is the cause.
Other accurate tests for HSV-2 may also be available through your local healthcare provider.

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