The herpes antibodies are very important in confirming the diagnosis of a herpes virus. The body produces herpes antibodies the moment it is exposed to herpes virus. Blood is drawn to obtain results from a laboratory test that confirms whether or not one is infected with herpes virus.
- Blood tests are significant in confirming a diagnosis of herpes virus in asymptomatic persons. Not every infected individual show symptoms of the viral disease most especially in the early stage. It may take weeks before the body develops herpes antibodies after infection. There are varieties of blood tests that can detect the herpes antibodies at varying times. Some may take weeks while others may take months to be able to detect the antibodies.
- Blood tests alone cannot identify the two types of herpes. Herpes infection can be either HSV-1 or HSV-2. Blood test can detect herpes antibodies but cannot distinctly identify one type from the other. A type-specific serologic test will give a more accurate distinction between the two types of herpes virus.
- The western blot test is a type-specific herpes blood test. It is the most accurate blood testing procedure that also detects Lyme disease and other sexually transmitted viruses such as HIV. One needs to wait two weeks post exposure to the virus in order for the test to identify herpes antibodies in the blood. The western blot test can give a negative result when done earlier than two weeks post exposure to the virus.
- Another type of blood testing is the POCkit or the Point of Care Kit. Although this is not a type-specific blood test, it still yields 93 percent efficiency in detecting herpes antibodies. This form of blood testing is less expensive and widely used by clinics. One needs to wait for two weeks after exposure in order to get an accurate result from this test.
- Cell culture can help detect herpes antibodies specific for HSV-1 or HSV-2 when symptoms are already visible. A swab is done from the lesion either in oral or genital form for lab testing. The test is different from a blood test and is very accurate once the infection shows visible symptoms already. In the absence of the symptoms, blood testing remains to be the choice for diagnosing herpes antibodies.
- Early detection of herpes is important to prevent its spread. Although one may show indefinite symptoms that would indicate the infection, various tests can help confirm the disease through the presence of the herpes antibodies in the blood. Providing proper medication can prevent the progression of the disease as well as the risk of spreading herpes virus.