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Previous shingles. Causes positive herpes test?

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Practicing since : 1996
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I may have had minor case shingles about 20 years ago.
If I did, could this result in a herpes test to be positive ? Even if no herpes? Or do the tests
Distinguish clearly between the two viruses?
I have not been tested yet but may at 12 weeks for some peace if mind
Thank you
Posted Fri, 27 Apr 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 4 hours later

If you had herpes infection in past, then HSV) 1 or 2 antibody (IgG) test can come positive. This test is indicative of a past infection. It does not however mean that you have any recent infection.

HSV IgM test is indicative of active or a recent infection.

HSV 1 & 2 infection can over lap or cross-over at times. It is also common to have false positive result in cases the value is just over 1. Anything over 2 is XXXXXXX positive and indicates infection.
This is where your history of infection becomes important.

So to answer your query, "if you had shingles in the past you may get a positive antibody (IgG). IgM antibodies which suggests recent infection would be negative. We could distinguish amongst HSV 1 and 2 if the values are above 2".

I hope this answers your query. Should you have any additional concerns regarding this issue, I would be happy to address them.


Dr.Bharat chawda
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