[Question #885] Herpes testing

51 months ago

A question about Herpes testing. What test do you recommend for someone who has had herpes (HSV-2) and used to get lesions often. They Tested positive both with Viral culture and antibody tests. They have not had an outbreak for months. Let’s assume it’s gone (I know I’ve been told it’s impossible.) An antibody test for IgG would not work. How about IgM, how long after the virus is gone would it not be present?  

There is also a PCR test that checks the presence of Herpes DNA would that be negative if the virus is gone. How long is the DNA present in the blood after the virus is gone. Or is there another test that would work better. Please answer. I am very frustrated. I have asked others in the medical field and all I’ve gotten as an answer is It’s impossible, you can’t get rid of Herpes.  

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
51 months ago
It is quite normal to have the frequency of herpes outbreaks decrease, sometimes dramatically, over time.  Is this you or someone else? 
So I would agree that herpes is a life long virus.  You (or whomever it is) has documented infection.  Why are you saying that an IgG would not work?  IgM is quite variable - it often is not there and and then will be there again and then not there.  PCR testing is done from a lesion.  If there is no lesion, then the PCR may well be negative.  There is no herpes DNA in the blood - it is a skin and nerve disease. 
It sounds like you just don't believe that herpes is a lifelong disease and you think that if you aren't having outbreaks that you might not be infected.  You are infected for life.  And I'm not really here to convince you otherwise but that is a true statement. 

Terri
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51 months ago
Hi Terry, I appreciate your response.  It's not me, even though I tested positive  over 25 years ago, and the FREQUENT  outbreaks COMPLETELY STOPPED about 4 or 5 years ago. I am 69 and not sexually active, so no problem. This question is for a 29 year old female, who tested positive about a year ago and had consistent outbreaks. She went through a regiment of supplements and diet changes that  were suppose to eliminate the virus. She has NOT had an outbreak since then. We want to see if it's gone or were the outbreaks just suppressed (by a test not an opinion.) The IgG antibody according to experts, is in the blood for life, therefore it will be still be there if we assume the virus is gone. The IgM is inconsistent as you say, so it would not be a valid test.  Since there is no DNA on the blood then the PCR test is not possible without a lesion. What you are saying, I believe, is that there is no test available to prove the virus is gone. There have been many miracle drugs found in my lifetime to cure ailments which were thought to be incurable. What happens if in the future a drug company comes up with a cure  to eliminate the virus completely. How would they test to see if the drug actually works, without a test?  What I ask is either tell me that you are 100% sure there is no test or if you could find out if there is or let me know where I can get information about a test. I would be very grateful for your help.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
51 months ago
The reason the IgG is there for life is because the virus is in the body for life and continues to generate antibody. 
Take a newborn, for example.  If a newborn is born to a mom with genital herpes, it will be born with antibody that has been transferred from the mom during the pregnancy.  But if the baby is not infected at birth, that antibody will disappear within 6 months because the baby does not have virus and because there is no virus, the antibody will go away because no new antibody is being generated.  Antibody is made in response to a virus.  If there is no virus, there is no antibody.  So if she is cured, then there will be no antibody. 

If there is a cure down the road, an accurate test would be the IgG because if there is no virus there will be no antibody. 

Terri
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