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Is it normal to have a negative herpes antibody test, but positive culture?

I was officially diagnosed with HSV-1 four years ago (May 2016) after an outbreak of one ulcer. Before this test a month earlier (April 2016) I noticed a circular sore on my buttocks but it was just slightly itchy and not painful and disappeared. The doctor swabbed the new ulcer around the vulva and the results came back positive for HSV-1. I took the Herpeselect blood test at the same time which turned up negative, and repeated the test 90-days later and the results were still negative.

Is it possible to be infected with HSV and your body not make antibodies?

Does this mean I have been infected with HSV-1 for many years and so the antibodies disapperead?
1 Responses
207091 tn?1337709493
Was it an IgG test?

If it was an IgG test, and not an IgM test, that's not all that surprising. The HSV1 IgG test misses about 30% of hsv1 infections, so it seems as if yours is one of those.

If you feel the need to confirm your infection, though the culture is the absolute best way to get a diagnosis, you could get a Western Blot test, but you really don't need it. It's up to you, though.
Thank you for your response. It was the IGM test.

Ignore that. It's ridiculous that your doctor even ordered it for you. We've known for a long time that the IgM is unreliable. It's designed to look for new infections, and works for some conditions, but is terribly unreliable for herpes. My own was negative when it should have been positive, and positive when it should have been negative.

If you want to confirm it, you can try with a type specific IgG test, but know that it misses 30% of hsv1 infections. Or you can trust the culture, and know you have it.

The culture and the blood tests won't be able to tell you how long you've had it at this point. If you'd had the IgG testing at the time of your first symptoms, and it was negative, and then later, had a positive IgG test, you'd know it was a new infection. Since that didn't happen, you can't know now, unfortunately.

Thank you
You're welcome. We're here if you ever have any questions.
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