It is a common viral infection caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV). Its 2 types present include HSV-1 & HSV-2. Both viruses are known to be contagious (transmissible) and cause sores or blisters around the mouth or genitals with other symptoms too. The HSV-1 is known to cause oral herpes which will affect mouth & surrounding skin and can spread via contact with moist skin of infected mouth. While HSV-2 is known to cause genital herpes i.e. sores develop on penis, around or inside vagina, buttocks, or on anus. HSV-2 can be sexually transmitted. It may also be transmitted from a genital herpes mother to her baby while giving birth.
What is Anti-HSV 1 & 2 IgG (CSF) Lab Test?
For the detection/diagnosis of HSV infection, an immunoglobulin G (IgG) CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) test is performed. This test looks for antibodies (& not the virus) which are produced by the body in response to viral infection. Specific HSV IgG will develop in the body when HSV infection occurs. This test becomes important as HSV infection can lead to encephalitis which is a severe brain inflammation condition. IgG antibodies are known to develop after several weeks (4 to 6) of exposure & stay in the body for lifetime providing immunity against infection.
Why is Anti-HSV 1 & 2 IgG (CSF) Lab Test done?
This test is performed for the purpose of:
Confirming a genital herpes infection and not recommended as a general screening test.
It is indicated where meningitis/encephalitis or certain neurological problem is suspected
This test is mostly done on pregnant women who are at risks of having genital herpes which reduces chances of virus transmission to the baby.
Its advantage is that IgG test can differentiate better among HSV-1 & HSV-2 as compared to IgM (immunoglobulin M) test.
Anti-HSV 1 & 2 IgG test done early during infection is helpful in determining whether you have been exposed to HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection. However, if signs of infection are present but the test comes negative that means you have a new infection & were never exposed to the virus before.