Pathology Associates Of Lexington, P.A.
Pathology Associates Of Lexington, P.A.
Pathology Associates Of Lexington, P.A.
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        Herpes simplex virus II test, blood (acute systemic infection)

Herpes simplex virus II 
antibody, serum

 This is an IFA (indirect fluorescent antibody) IgM & IgG type of test and now the one to use in search of acute infection (especially in newborns, infants, children where concern for systemic illness). The infectious agent is a DNA virus of the herpes group. This HSV II virus is  the "genital herpes" virus. It is closely related to the HSV I "fever blister" virus. In late 2004, a new serum test replacing this to clearly differentiate HSV I & HSV II chronic status. Both produce painful blisters and ulcerations, and the virus can be dormant in the location and erupt and re-erupt with sores [DFA smear tests or Tzank smears can be done from sores]. Since about 1990, there are antiviral agents which may cure an initial infection if caught and treated very early; cures are less likely once established, though treatment make help decrease the severity. Since oral sex has become so prevalent in modern times, the differentiation between an infection with HSV I and HSV II is less reliable by standard serology for purposes of blaming an etiology. But the HSV type specific test can. That is, a person could engage in oral sex with one partner and acquire HSV II from that infected partner. The person may or may not have an obvious sore to indicate having caught the disease. Then, through oral kissing only, that person may pass the HSV II on to another person who has not engaged in any sort of genital sex. That is, it is possible for a righteous virgin to get HSV II of the lips or mouth.

 In standard serological testing, there can be serious test cross-reactions so that a person appears to be positive for both HSV I and HSV II when only having been exposed to one of the agents. The agent with detectible presence of IgM (acute) antibody (Ab) and/or the agent with the highest level of IgG (immune) Ab is likely the actual offending organism in an active infection. [warning]

Negative, Non reactive, undetectable status:

  • HSV II infected persons whose Ab level has not yet reached detectibilty.
  • previously infected persons who did not mount a detectible level of Ab (may or may not be "immune")
  • previously infected persons who have become seriously immunocompromised and cannot produce detectible Ab

 Elevated, reactive, or positive results:

  • true evidence of HSV II infection

  • HSV I cross-reaction

Test Synonyms

Other names for this exact or approximate agent are:   

  • Herpes simplex virus II

(posted 2000; latest update 12/22/04)

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