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Did I Receive the Gift?

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Posted (edited)

Hi there. I’d appreciate any guidance you can give me regarding my test results. 

I had unprotected sex sometime July 2017 and the last time December 29, 2017. I have had no typical symptoms, but did have skin sensitive that was sporadic and would occur in different places on my thighs, waist and hips. This only happened for few weeks between July and December 2017 and has not happened again. 

Below are my test results. 

2015 - <0.90 negative for both HSV1 and HSV2

2/22/18 - HSV1 - 0.94 positive. HSV2 - 1.96 positive. Quest Diagnostics. Test performed HSV 1/2 IGG. type specific AB

3/14/18 - HSV1 - <0.90 negative. HSV2 - 1.95 positive. Quest Diagnostics. Test performed HSV 1/2 IGG. type specific AB

As you can see I tested nearly the same even though the test was done about 3 weeks apart. Would one expect to see an increase in the index values?

Could the skin sensitivity be considered an outbreak?

Would a Western Blot be needed for a definite diagnosis? Has enough time passed to test? 

What feedback can you offer and/or recommend?

Thanks for your help. :)

Edited by JustCruisin

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This is certainly in the false positive range and all the hallmarks (symptoms, numbers etc.) that lean in that direction.

Exactly as you suggest, the more likely observation if you had been infected in December would an increasing number. Your lack of an outbreak suggestive of herpes is also an important factor to consider.

The Westernblot is designed for circumstances such as these. I would wait until 16 weeks after the last exposure of concern before the blood draw for the WB.

Equally another IgG test in a month or two may also return to negative, but then again it may not. The WB is the most certain and timely way to sort this out, if the most expensive.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you @WilsonAus for your reply. 

I will most definitely retest or do the Western blot at the 16+ week mark and double definitely abstain until I have final confirmation. 

I am curious though. What causes a false positive result? Something has to trigger the IgG test for a positive result. 

Edited by JustCruisin

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No one really knows. Antibodies are forms of proteins. The test consists of wells coated with an antigen amino acid known as gG-2 (for HSV-2 detection). This is one of the envelopes (of about ten known) that the virus creates. It is special as it appears to attract only type specific IgG antibodies.

It does appear at times though that other proteins are attracted to gG-2. These may be related to proteins that are present owing to a HSV-1 infection, but it appears other unknown proteins stick. There is a coloured enzyme linked to these proteins thus creating a colour density that is measured to get a result that is expressed as a ratio to a control well.

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