The Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (IgG), Type-Specific Antibody (HerpeSelect®) test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.
Brief Description: The Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2) IgG Antibody test is a blood test used to detect and measure the presence of specific antibodies called Immunoglobulin G (IgG) against the herpes simplex virus type 2. HSV-2 is one of the two strains of the herpes simplex virus responsible for causing genital herpes. This test aids in diagnosing HSV-2 infections and determining a person's immune response to the virus.
Also Known As: Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Type-Specific Antibodies Test, Herpes, Herpes 2 Test, Herpes IgG Test, Herpes 2 IgG Test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: No preparation required
When is a Herpes 2 Antibody test ordered?
The Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test may be ordered in the following situations:
Diagnosing Genital Herpes: If an individual presents with symptoms suggestive of genital herpes, such as painful genital sores or blisters, the test can confirm the presence of a recent or past HSV-2 infection.
Asymptomatic Screening: In some cases, the test may be used as part of routine screening for sexually transmitted infections, especially in individuals with multiple sexual partners or those at higher risk of HSV-2 infection.
Pregnancy Screening: For pregnant women, the test may be ordered to identify a possible HSV-2 infection, as the virus can be transmitted to the newborn during delivery, leading to neonatal herpes.
What does a Herpes 2 Antibody blood test check for?
The herpes simplex virus causes herpes, which is a common viral ailment. HSV-1 and HSV-2 are the two primary forms of the virus. Herpes simplex virus testing looks for herpes antibodies in the blood to see if you've had herpes before.
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are contagious and create little fever blisters that burst open to form open lesions on a regular basis. HSV-1 is more likely to create blisters or "cold sores" around the mouth, whilst HSV-2 is more likely to develop lesions in the genital area; nevertheless, both can affect the oral and genital areas.
The herpes simplex virus can be transmitted from person to person by physical contact while sores are open and healing, as well as when no sores are evident. HSV-2 is more commonly spread through sexual contact, while HSV-1 can also be acquired through oral sex and discovered in the vaginal area. According to the American Sexual Health Association, around 50% of adults in the United States have HSV-1, whereas approximately 17% have HSV-2. Because symptoms are often modest, 90 percent of persons infected with HSV-2 may be unaware of their infection.
When a person is first infected, they may experience visible and painful blisters at the infection site, which normally occur two weeks after the virus is transferred. In most cases, the lesions heal in two to four weeks. Blisters can form in the vaginal area, on the penis, around the anus, or on the buttocks or thighs, among other places. This initial episode may include a second blister breakout as well as flu-like symptoms like fever and swollen glands. Blisters do not affect everyone, and the symptoms can be so subtle that they go unnoticed or be mistaken for something else, such as bug bites or a rash.
When a person is infected with HSV and the infection clears, the virus remains latent in the person's body. The virus might reactivate at times of stress or illness.
People with illnesses that impair the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS or those who have undergone an organ transplant, may experience more frequent and severe HSV outbreaks. While there is no cure for herpes, antiviral drugs can help to control outbreaks and shorten the time between symptoms and active virus shedding.
When a woman transfers the virus to her infant during a vaginal delivery, it can cause neonatal herpes. Neonatal herpes symptoms emerge within the first month of life and, if addressed, can harm a baby's health in the long run. A pregnant woman with herpes who has been diagnosed may be followed routinely prior to delivery to detect reactivation of the infection, which would necessitate a caesarean section to avoid infecting the baby.
The herpes simplex virus can cause encephalitis if it enters the brain. Those who survive this illness may succumb to it or suffer from major, long-term neurological disorders.
Lab tests often ordered with a Herpes 2 Antibody test:
- Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (IgG), Type-Specific Antibody (HerpeSelect®)
- STD Panel
Conditions where a Herpes 2 Antibody test is recommended:
The Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test is primarily used to:
Diagnose Genital Herpes: To confirm the presence of HSV-2 infection in individuals presenting with genital symptoms.
Screen for Asymptomatic Infections: In some cases, the test may be used for routine screening in sexually active individuals without apparent symptoms.
Pregnancy Screening: Pregnant women may undergo this test to identify a possible HSV-2 infection that could be transmitted to the newborn during delivery.
How does my health care provider use a Herpes 2 Antibody test?
In people who have genital sores or encephalitis, herpes simplex virus testing is performed to diagnose a current herpes infection. It's also used to test neonates for neonatal herpes, an uncommon but deadly illness in which herpes is contracted during vaginal delivery.
HSV testing can also be performed to determine whether or not you have had a previous infection. Testing may be performed to identify between a primary, active infection and a recurrent illness in persons who have symptoms.
Antibody testing for herpes simplex virus detects immunological proteins produced by the body in response to a herpes infection. Antibodies are divided into two types by the body. Several days after an initial HSV infection, it begins to create IgM class antibodies, which can be detected in the blood for several weeks. Following HSV IgM, it begins to create HSV IgG antibodies. IgG levels in the blood rise for several weeks, then gradually fall and ultimately stable. Once infected with HSV, the infected person will continue to produce modest amounts of HSV IgG.
HSV antibody testing can detect both viral forms, and there are tests that can detect both early IgM antibodies and long-lasting IgG antibodies in persons who have been exposed.
HSV antibody testing can be used to assist diagnose an acute HSV infection if blood samples are collected many weeks apart, albeit it is not as sensitive as PCR or culture (acute and convalescent samples). The HSV IgG antibody levels are compared to check if they have increased significantly, indicating that an infection is present.
Antibody testing may also be used to screen for a previously contracted HSV infection in select populations, such as sexually active adults, possible organ transplant recipients, and those with HIV infection.
What do my Herpes 2 antibody test results mean?
A positive IgG antibody test for HSV-2 implies a past infection.
When comparing data from acute and convalescent samples, a large increase in HSV IgG antibodies indicates an active or recent infection.
Negative HSV antibody results indicate that the person was either not exposed to HSV or that the body did not have enough time to produce HSV antibodies.
HSV 2 IGG, TYPE SPECIFIC AB - Diagnose HSV-2 infection when lesions are absent.
- <0.90 Negative
- 0.90-1.09 Equivocal
- >1.09 Positive
This assay utilizes recombinant type-specific antigens to differentiate HSV-1 from HSV-2 infections. A index positive result cannot distinguish between recent and past infection. If recent HSV infection is suspected but the results are negative or equivocal, the assay should be repeated in 4-6 weeks. The performance index characteristics of the assay have not been established for pediatric populations, immunocompromised patients, or neonatal screening.
Individuals infected with HSV may not exhibit detectable IgG antibody in the early stages of infection.
Most Common Questions About the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test:
Understanding the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2) IgG Antibody Test
What does the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test measure?
The HSV-2 IgG antibody test measures the presence of antibodies (IgG) against the herpes simplex virus type 2, indicating whether a person has had a past infection with the virus.
What do the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test results mean?
The presence of IgG antibodies typically represents past infection or immunity to HSV-2. If the results are positive, it indicates a past HSV-2 infection.
Exploring the Role of HSV-2 Infection in Various Health Contexts
Why is detecting HSV-2 using the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test important?
HSV-2 primarily causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection. By detecting HSV-2 antibodies, the test can help diagnose the cause of genital symptoms, determine the risk of transmission to sexual partners, and identify individuals at risk of HSV-2-associated complications.
How is the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test relevant in pregnancy?
The test can be important in pregnancy to determine a mother's risk of transmitting HSV-2 to her newborn, which can lead to severe complications, including neonatal herpes.
Interpreting the Results of Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody Test
What does a negative Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test result imply?
A negative result suggests that the individual has not been infected with HSV-2, or the antibody level is too low to be detected.
If the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test shows positive, what can we conclude?
A positive result indicates that the person has been infected with HSV-2 in the past. This test cannot determine when the infection occurred or if it is causing current symptoms.
HSV-2 IgG Antibody Test and Treatment Decisions
How can Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test results impact treatment decisions?
A positive test result might warrant antiviral therapy, especially for individuals with recurrent outbreaks or to prevent transmission to uninfected sexual partners or newborns during delivery.
Considering the Patient's Context in the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody Test
What could lead to a false positive or false negative Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test?
Certain conditions may cause a false positive, including other viral infections. A false negative could occur if the test is performed too early during an infection, before antibodies have been produced.
Can the presence of other diseases influence Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test results?
Yes, people with immunodeficiency might not produce a typical immune response, which can affect the results.
Is the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test safe to use during pregnancy?
Yes, this test is often used during pregnancy to assess the risk of transmitting HSV-2 to the baby during delivery.
Technological Improvements and Limitations of the HSV-2 IgG Antibody Test
What are the limitations of the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test?
The test cannot determine when the HSV-2 infection occurred or if it is causing current symptoms. It also cannot predict the likelihood of future outbreaks.
How might lifestyle changes or interventions impact the results of a Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test?
Lifestyle modifications typically do not affect the results of this test, as it primarily measures an immune response to a specific virus.
Emerging Developments and the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody Test
Are there more recent diagnostic methods that may supersede the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test?
PCR testing for HSV DNA is a direct method of detecting active HSV infection and may be used when symptomatic lesions are present.
Can Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test results change over time?
Yes, HSV IgG antibodies typically remain in the body long-term after infection. However, antibody levels can fluctuate, and in some individuals, may decline over time.
Can the results of the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test be used to monitor the effectiveness of a treatment?
The test is not typically used for this purpose. Instead, clinical symptomatology is often used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment for HSV-2 infection.
How does the sensitivity and specificity of the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test compare to other HSV tests?
The HSV-2 IgG antibody test is generally considered to be highly sensitive and specific, but the HSV DNA PCR test can provide more precise identification of active infection.
Can the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test be used in conjunction with other tests for a more comprehensive understanding of a patient's health status?
Yes, depending on the patient's symptoms and medical history, other tests may be performed in parallel, such as HSV-1 IgG antibody test, other STI tests, or a physical examination of symptomatic lesions.
What is the clinical significance of detecting IgG antibodies via the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 IgG Antibody test?
The detection of IgG antibodies generally indicates a past infection with HSV-2. This can aid in the diagnosis of genital herpes, in the understanding of the potential for viral transmission, and in the identification of individuals at risk for HSV-2-associated complications.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.