Herpes Simplex Virus 1 & 2 IgM
What is Herpes Simplex Virus 1 & 2 IgM?
The Herpes Simplex Virus 1 & 2, IgM test is used to screen and diagnose Herpes simplex infection. A herpes simplex infection is suspected in case of presence of blisters on the genitals, or symptoms of meningitis like severe headache, seizures. This test is advised to pregnant women who are suffering from herpes. It is also advised if the patient is suffering from another sexually transmitted disease and are at increased risk of infection.
Why is Herpes Simplex Virus 1 & 2 IgM done?
The Herpes Simplex Virus 1 & 2, IgM test is done:
In case of signs of herpes virus infection like blisters on the genitals
In case of encephalitis where viral infection is suspected
In case of pregnancy where herpes is detected in the pregnant lady
In case of screening for previous exposure to herpes simplex virus
In cases of any other sexually transmitted disease and the person is at risk of herpes infection
What does Herpes Simplex Virus 1 & 2 IgM Measure?
Herpes is a common viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It can be classified into two types, HSV-1 and HSV-2. Herpes simplex virus test is done to identify the presence of the virus in a sample from a blister, sore, or fluid. This is done to diagnose an acute herpes infection or to detect herpes antibodies in the blood to determine previous exposure to herpes.
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are contagious and periodically cause small fever blisters that break to form open lesions. HSV-1 initially causes blisters or "cold sores" around the mouth, while HSV-2 usually causes lesions around the genital area. However, either one can affect the oral or genital areas.
The herpes simplex virus can be passed from one individual to others through skin contact while the sores are open and healing. It can even get passed on when there are no visible sores. HSV-2 is a sexually transmitted disease whereas HSV-1 can also be acquired during oral sex and found in the genital area. These viruses show mild symptoms due to that 90% of HSV-2 infected people remain unaware of their condition.
When someone is first infected, the person may have obvious and painful blisters at the site of infection, which usually appear within two weeks after the virus is first transmitted. The blisters can appear in the vaginal area, on the penis, around the anus, or on the buttocks or thighs. This initial infection can include a second outbreak of blisters and even flu-like symptoms such as fever and swollen glands. However, not everyone develops blisters, and sometimes symptoms are so mild that they are unnoticeable or mistaken for something else, such as insect bites or a rash.
Once someone is infected and the initial infection resolves, the person will harbor the HSV in a hidden form. During periods of stress or illness, the virus may reactivate.
People with conditions like HIV/AIDS or those who have had an organ transplant in which the immune system gets suppressed may have more frequent and serious outbreaks of HSV. While there is no cure for herpes, antiviral medications can suppress outbreaks and shorten the duration of symptoms and may promote active shedding of the virus.
Rarely, the virus can cause neonatal herpes (when a woman transmits the virus to her baby during vaginal delivery). Symptoms of neonatal herpes appear during the first month of the delivery, but if left untreated then they can lead to long-term damage to a baby's health. A pregnant woman who has been diagnosed with herpes may require regular monitoring prior to delivery. This is done to screen if there is any activity of HBV infection, which would indicate the requirement of a cesarean section to avoid infecting the baby.
The herpes simplex virus can be transmitted to the brain which may cause encephalitis. This illness can be life-threatening or may cause serious, permanent neurological problems in those who survive.
Interpreting Herpes Simplex Virus 1 & 2 IgM results
0.8 - 1.2
Negative results do not rule out the possibility of infection. Retesting is recommended after 8 - 14 days.
Reference range may vary from lab to lab*
Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Herpes Simplex Virus 1 & 2 IgM
Frequently Asked Questions about Herpes Simplex Virus 1 & 2 IgM