Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is a type of infection that causes Herpes. It tends to appear in various parts of the body, particularly in the genital or mouth region. Primarily, there are two types of herpes simplex virus- HSV-1, also known as Oral Herpes, and cause cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth or on the faces- 2 is responsible for outbreaks in the genital area such as on or around the vagina or penis.
A common test known as Herpes test is done to determine the presence of Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV).
Causes of Herpes Simplex
Herpes Simplex is a communicable virus that can be passed from person to person through direct contacts- 1 cause due to general interactions with the infected person such as- eating from the same utensils, sharing lip balm or kissing. HSV- 2 Infection can spread from sexual contact with an infected person. In this case, the level of risk gets heightens when a person participates in sexual behaviour without using protection, such as condoms.
Why is Herpes test done?
The test is done to-
- Find out which types of virus (HSV-1 or HSV-2) is basically causing sores,
- Find out whether the new-born is at a risk of developing Herpes or not, whose mother has suffered previously from Genital Herpes.
How is Herpes Simplex diagnosed?
Herpes is diagnosed with the help of physical examinations. The common herpes tests include taking samples of spinal fluid, blood, tears, etc. Some of the primary herpes tests include-
Herpes Viral Culture– In this, the fluid is taken from a fresh sore and is added to certain cells that are used to grow HSV. The culture report comes negative if no virus infects the cells.
Herpes Virus Antigen Detection Test – It helps to find markers called antigens on the surface of the infected cells.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test- PCT test can be experimented on the cells or the sore, blood or on spinal fluid. This test is used to find the difference between HSV-1 and HSV -2 virus as well.
Antibody Test – Antibody Test is done to find antibodies that are made by the immune system of the body to fight Herpes infection.
Herpes Test Results
Normal Result- A normal result should be negative. In this, no viral antigens or DNA are found, and no herpes antibodies are present in the blood.
Abnormal Result- An abnormal result shows positive HSV virus also grows in the viral culture test and HSV antigens or DNA are present in the blood.