The prevalence of HSV IgM antibodies can vary depending on a number of factors such as age, gender, geographical location, socio-economic status, race, sexual behavior, testing method used, specimen collection and handling procedures, and the clinical and epidemiological history of individual patients. A negative result does not necessarily rule out a primary or reactivated infection since specimens may have been collected too early in the course of disease, when antibodies have not yet reached detectable levels, or too late, after IgM levels have declined below detectable levels. Some people think that a positive herpes IgM test means that they were recently infected with herpes, but is that true?. Interestingly, recent research suggests that the common wisdom about herpes blood test results may not be accurate. The convalescent blood sample is collected several weeks after the acute sample, and HSV IgG antibody levels are compared to see if they have risen significantly, indicating a current infection. The presence of HSV-1 or HSV-2 IgM antibodies indicates an active or recent infection.
IgM antibodies are found mainly in the blood and lymph fluid; they are the first antibody to be made by the body to fight a new infection. 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. Unlike IgM, IgG antibodies can be accurately broken down to either HSV-1 or HSV-2. The IgM is a non-type specific herpes test and, therefore, cannot distinguish between types 1 and 2. However, IgM levels can provide useful information about a new infection.
Should You Trust A Blood Test To Detect Herpes? Some people assume that, if IgM is found in the blood, then it shows that they have recently acquired herpes. I just got my blood test results back, and it turns out they did the IgM test. I tested NEGATIVE for IgM, both types. I asked the Dr about this not being an accurate test, and he agreed if the results are positive, since you cannot know the type. HSV-1 IgG and IgM and HSV-2 IgM antibodies were detected using western blot.
Everything About Herpes 1 & 2 And HSV Testing
This is just to list first hand as the inaccuracy of a IgM blood test for herpes. I was first diagnosed with HSV-2 back in November with an IgG. When no symptoms are present or if they have already healed a blood test may be required.