February 8, 2019 at 10:58 am #30398
Hello Dr. Warren,
I have been with my wife for 6 years. I have never had a herpes outbreak, but had also never been tested.
Three weeks ago, I noticed bumps on my groin that looked suspicious. I did the following: 1) made an appointment with a dermatologist and 2) ordered an HSV-2 test through the mail.
The HSV-2 test was administered by “MyLAB Box.” The testing kit included a needle and paper with multiple “dots” to bleed on. The dried blood is sent back to the lab for testing. The company indicated that it is an “HSV-2 IgG Antibody Test via Bloodspot collection.”
The bumps were not herpes as per the dermatologist. They were Molluscum. However, my test results for HSV-2 came back as a clear positive. My index level is 1.207.
This gave me pause since I have read on these forums that anything below 3.5 should probably be confirmed with another kind of test. When I asked the company if they agreed, they told me the following:
“MyLAB Box runs a standard HSV-2 IgG Antibody test via Bloodspot collection. When the test is being run by bloodspot, the reference ranges are as follows:
< 0.600: Not detected
= 0.600: Indeterminate
0.601-1.000: Low Level Positive
> 1.001: Positive
Your result from the myLAB Box test was 1.207, and should be compared to the reference range above. You cannot compare your reference range for the MLB test to the [serum test ranges] as it is based on a different sample for collection.”
Is 1.207 a clear positive for a bloodspot test? I can find zero information on bloodspot test ranges. If this is a “high enough” result or not ambiguous, I will try to immediately begin antivirals. I am terrified of passing this to my wife who suffers from autoimmune issues and I fear will suffer from the virus.
Just in case, I have ordered the Western Blot but am hoping for some guidance and perspective with interpreting during the interim.
THANK YOU Dr. Warren.
February 11, 2019 at 5:23 pm #30462
Hi Dr. Warren. I posted this a few days ago and I am trying to make an appointment with a doctor will administer the Western Blot test. However, I am still at least a few weeks out from getting the doctor’s appointment and test results.
The best I can tell is that the blood spot test index value ranges are roughly 1/3 of the serum index value ranges. Should I just multiply my index of 1.207 by three?
I know that nobody can provide me with a definitive answer, I am just looking for knowledge on the ranges for this blood spot test. Am I a clear positive? If so I want to just go ahead and inform my wife, have the hard conversations, begin her test, begin antivirals if her is negative, etc.
However, if 1.207 is indeed “iffy” as a result for blood spot tests then I will hold off. That’s my goal with this question – to get some insight if possible.
If nobody knows the answer that is ok, just let me know and I’ll know that I’m in uncharted territory here and proceed accordingly.
Thanks again Dr. Warren for everything that you do.
February 14, 2019 at 9:19 am #30573
To anybody who reads this post in the future, I do not recommend the dried blood spot test. There just isn’t much information out there, and it seems to be an “alternative” method of collecting the blood sample. I have seen two studies that say that there is a high correlation between blood spot and serum samples for HSV-2 testing. This is the best study I was able to find.
However, my experience was that the dried blood spot (dbs) test came back as a clear positive. I followed up with the exact same test method (herpeselect igg) and the results were that HSV-2 antibodies were not detected. I am obviously very thankful that I do not have HSV-2, but I am also thankful for the research that I’ve done over the past week or so to educate myself on Herpes. I can honestly say that I was mostly at peace with this condition, which seemed to be mostly minor, and I hope that those who have been recently diagnosed can find peace with it as well.
Also, in case anybody searches this forum for the keywords, the Amazon MyLAB box test was completely inaccurate for me (assuming that my subsequent blood serum test was accurate). It wasn’t just a higher/lower result, it was actually completely false from what I can tell.
I can’t tell if this forum is still active in terms of medical professionals weighing in, but it seems to be a good place for conversation. There is also a Reddit (r/herpes) that is a good place for information.
Good luck everybody, remember that you are loved and that this condition is not a reflection on you. One thing that struck me as amazing is that two people who have never had sex before could technically get married and both wind up with genital herpes. That is an extreme example, but it just goes to show that your character and this virus are completely unrelated.
February 15, 2019 at 2:48 pm #30645
I am back. If you can believe it, the lab ordered the wrong test for me so those negative results mean nothing. I am back to square one.
I honestly am having trouble dealing with this diagnosis. I continue to read that this diagnosis is not a huge deal and that it is a minor skin condition. On the other hand, I am about to have to tell my that I have genital herpes, and that we are either relegated to condoms for the rest of our marriage or else she has to be willing to accept acquiring HSV-2 with all of the unknowns as to how her body will react. It is such a lonely diagnosis.
February 15, 2019 at 5:32 pm #30654
I totally understand, no one wants this condition.Your post caught my eye, because I too used at home testing for STI’s.
Both Mylabbox/PrivateiDNA kits use Molecular Diagnostic Testing Labs from Vancouver Washington. The brand I believe is Focus Diagnostics Herpselect hsv2 ELISA IGG, via dried blood spot cards.
Another at home test service for HSV 1 & 2 is letsgetchecked kits, they use Northwell Health Labs in NY i believe, not sure what the brand is, but the methodology is CLIA, Chemiluminescence IGG, very similar to ELISA, but more automated. They use blood prick droplets, you dispense in a small yellow top tube & send them.
I’ve been getting neg(-) for both 1 & 2 on every test 14 months past exposure, but worry since im having GI problems, though not sure if its HSV or IBS related.
After booking an appointment with Terry, I’ve decided to move forward with getting the Western Blot this month. Terry is very reassuring and informative.
A Western Blot with 99.9 % accuracy quoted, one can move forward with their life =/
February 19, 2019 at 7:27 am #30744
I’m not sure what to make of that test – the ranges are different than the usual ones. I will try to look into this further. However, for now, you have a low positive and need a confirmatory test. I hope you will continue to pursue the blot with your own provider. In order to get the blot, you need to get the kit from the University of Washington. the blot is not available through the large labs like Quest or LabCorp, as far as I know right now. With all this confusion, I think the blot is your best bet.
For the record, the ELISA is definitely automated, though I’m not sure what difference that makes.
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