Herpes simplex virus type 1,2 (Herpes simplex virus), IgM antibodies
Why this test?
- As an auxiliary study to confirm the diagnosis with symptoms of herpetic lesions (ulcers, bubbles on the mucous membranes) or neonatal herpes.
- To screen certain groups of people, sexually active, potential recipients infected with the AIDS virus, or those who have previously been exposed to HSV infection.
In what cases is it prescribed?
- When diagnosing and monitoring infection.
- When examining persons who were in contact with patients with HSV infection.
- During the period of preparation for pregnancy and its control.
The first and second types of the virus are most common. They are contagious and contribute to the formation of small bubbles (vesicles) on the mucous membranes, which burst, forming open sores. With HSV-1, blisters appear mainly around the mouth and in the oral cavity, while HSV-2 usually affects areas around the genitals.
The herpes simplex virus can be infected through skin contact, contact with vesicles, and sometimes even in the absence of visible virus lesions. HSV-2 is most often transmitted sexually, but HSV-1 herpes can also occur, for example, through oral sex.
According to the Ministry of Health, from 50% to 80% of the adult population of developed countries are infected with herpes type 1 and about 20% with herpes type 2. Because symptoms are often subtle, 90% of people infected with HSV-2 may not even be aware of their infection.
In the case of primary infection, painful blisters usually form after two weeks at the site of infection, which, as a rule, pass after four weeks. They appear on the genitals, around the anus, on the buttocks or on the thighs, after which they can burst. In addition, flu-like symptoms such as chills and sore throat may appear. However, herpes blisters are not always formed.
Sometimes the symptoms of the disease are so weak that they go unnoticed or are mistaken for something else, such as insect bites or allergies. After the infection enters the body and its spread, the herpes virus is in a latent form. With stress or other diseases that lead to a decrease in immunity, it can be activated again. In most cases, herpes simplex is not dangerous to health, but it can cause serious diseases: neonatal herpes (if the child is infected during childbirth from a mother infected with genital herpes) and encephalitis. They can lead to serious incurable neurological diseases and even death. The following factors increase the risk of herpes infection: diseases in which the immune system is suppressed (for example, HIV / AIDS), organ transplantation.
There are antiviral drugs that suppress the spread of herpes, as well as shorten the duration of the acute phase of the viral infection and alleviate the symptoms of the disease. Antibodies are produced to fight infection. The formation of IgM antibodies begins a few days after the initial infection; they can be determined in the blood for several weeks.