Synonyms: Herpes 1; HSV-1; HSV Type 1-Specific Ab, IgG; Herpeselect;

IGG = previous infection

Why It Is Done

A test for herpes is done to determine whether HSV is causing sores, usually in the genital or mouth areaHerpes testing is done to detect the presence of the herpes simplex virus (HSV). An HSV infection can cause small, painful blisterlike sores of the skin or the tissue lining (mucous membranes) of the throat, nose, mouth, urethra, rectum, and vagina. A herpes infection may cause only a single outbreak of sores, but in many cases the person will have recurrent outbreaks.

Test Overview

HSV type 1 usually causes cold sores (also called fever blisters) on the lips. HSV-1 is generally spread by kissing or by sharing eating utensils (such as spoons or forks) when sores are present. HSV-1 can also cause sores around the genitals.
HSV type 2 usually causes sores in the genital area (genital herpes), such as on or around the vagina or penis. HSV-2 also causes the type of herpes infection seen in babies born to women who have genital herpes. HSV-2 is generally spread by sexual contact. HSV-2 rarely causes sores elsewhere in the body.

On rare occasions, HSV can infect other parts of the body, such as the eyes and the brain.To determine whether sores are being caused by the herpes simplex virus, different types of tests may be done. IgG. IgG antibodies are found in all body fluids. They are the smallest but most abundant of the antibodies, normally comprising about 75% to 80% of all the antibodies in the body.IgG antibodies are considered the most important antibodies for fighting bacterial and viral infections. IgG antibodies are the only type of antibody that can cross the placenta. Therefore, the IgG antibodies of a pregnant woman can also help protect her baby (fetus).

How To Prepare

If you may have genital herpes, avoid sexual contact until your test results come back. Although genital herpes cannot be cured, you can reduce the risk of spreading the disease.