Blood test for HSV: IgG & IgM

Blood test for HSV can determine the presentence and type of HSV. A herpes IgG test is a blood test to see if you’ve been infected by herpes. Your doctor will take a blood sample and then send it to a lab for analysis. A herpes blood test can be used in someone who doesn’t have sores or whose sores are too old for testing.

What are the meanings of IgG and IgM?

For a new type of infection, it takes time for the body to make strong antibodies. The body can make several kinds of antibodies to fight infections. The two types that herpes blood tests look for are IgG and IgM. Herpes IgM antibodies usually are detectable by herpes blood tests within 7-10 days after initial infection. IgM levels stay high for approximately two weeks. After that, they usually decline. Therefore, IgM testing is primarily considered to be useful for detecting acute infection. However, antibody levels also sometimes go up during an outbreak.

In contrast, HSV IgG antibodies do not show up until slightly later after initial infection. A positive herpes IgG test, if the test result is accurate, means that your body has been infected with the herpes simplex virus.

Herpes IgG and IgM test for different phases of infection.

If you test positive for HSV IgG but not IgM, then your herpes infection is probably not recent. You’ve probably been infected for at least two months. Individuals with newer infections are more likely to test positive for both herpes IgG and IgM. They might also be positive for herpes IgM alone. The converse, however, isn’t true. Positive herpes IgG and IgM results together do not necessarily mean you were infected recently. Between 30 and 70 percent of patients with recurrent herpes infections will test positive for herpes IgM.

Reference range

If you have any question, please consult your doctors.

Keywords: genital herpes; HSV; IgG; IgM.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.