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landonjacobs

PCR Blood Test

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landonjacobs

My physicians office came back with results for my STI tests. For Herpes, they tested for active lesions using a “PCR blood test.” my understanding is that the only blood tests are IgG/IgM and PCR used swab testing. I clarified to make sure they spoke correctly. Has the standard changed recently? Can a blood test detect active lesions?

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WilsoInAus

You are correct that PCR is the wrong blood test to diagnose herpes.

Only the IgG test has credible results.

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landonjacobs
50 minutes ago, WilsoInAus said:

You are correct that PCR is the wrong blood test to diagnose herpes.

Only the IgG test has credible results.

Are you sure? why would they test me like that then? Surely they would know the correct way to test people.

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WannaCry

Nope. General Practitioner doctors spend very little time getting training on STD testing, and especially not much on something like HSV which is really not viewed as  life threatening (compared to say HIV, Syphillis, etc). HSV is one of the hardest STDs to correctly test for and there have been many advances in testing options in the years that they have probably graduated from medical school, and I can assure you that while they try they probably don't know the cutting edge options.

The PCR test issue happens very often. A Dr will remember they read 'PCR test' for HSV somewhere and send it off as a blood test. The PCR test for HSV is swab based - looking for viral DNA and a certain threshold of copies of that DNA from the suspected infected area. Blood PCR tests do not work for this. 

Other bad tests for adults are: IGM, crude antibody tests, Combined antibody tests. 

The only tests that should be done for determining HSV infection in adults are for blood the IgG or Western Blot and for swabbing the PCR or if during an obvious outbreak viral culture.

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