3 doctors weighed in:

How accurate are type specific herpes tests? what are my chances of false negatives?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Lipkin
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: PCR is the best test

Serologic blood tests for antibodies can differentiate HSV-1 from HSV-2.
However, if this is a recent infection it may take several weeks for serology to be (+) for HSV. Culture of the lesions will usually be (+) if you have a blister or ulceration due to HSV, but can give false negative results. Polymerase chain reaction(PCR) tests for HSV DNA and is much more sensitive(few false negatives)

In brief: PCR is the best test

Serologic blood tests for antibodies can differentiate HSV-1 from HSV-2.
However, if this is a recent infection it may take several weeks for serology to be (+) for HSV. Culture of the lesions will usually be (+) if you have a blister or ulceration due to HSV, but can give false negative results. Polymerase chain reaction(PCR) tests for HSV DNA and is much more sensitive(few false negatives)
Dr. David Lipkin
Dr. David Lipkin
Thank
Dr. Visalakshi Vallury
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Accurate

These assays are highly sensitive (91%–100%) and specific (93%–100%) for HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection, even in the absence of symptoms.
Thus, a negative result suggests absence of infection. A positive result strongly suggests infection with HSV. In presence of strong suspicion of exposure (for example partner with known HSV 2), a negative test should be repeated in 4 -5 weeks. for confirmation.

In brief: Accurate

These assays are highly sensitive (91%–100%) and specific (93%–100%) for HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection, even in the absence of symptoms.
Thus, a negative result suggests absence of infection. A positive result strongly suggests infection with HSV. In presence of strong suspicion of exposure (for example partner with known HSV 2), a negative test should be repeated in 4 -5 weeks. for confirmation.
Dr. Visalakshi Vallury
Dr. Visalakshi Vallury
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Dr. Martin Raff
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease

In brief: Herpes simplex

There are very few medical reasons to get such testing since most of us already have this virus.
The newer type specific tests are far more accurate than previously. Cannot answer about false-negatives because not sure which test you are referring to. This is an issue best discussed with your PCP. Good luck and hope this helps.

In brief: Herpes simplex

There are very few medical reasons to get such testing since most of us already have this virus.
The newer type specific tests are far more accurate than previously. Cannot answer about false-negatives because not sure which test you are referring to. This is an issue best discussed with your PCP. Good luck and hope this helps.
Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff
Thank
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