November 24, 2014 at 8:58 am #1991
In August 2012 I had a HSV IGG Elisa test without any suspicion of infection. Received very upsetting results of HSV1 negative and HSV 2 4.8. After looking online, I knew it is considered a high result but did not want to just stop there. Six weeks after I had that first test, I was tested again via Immunoblot. The results was HSV1 band non reactive, common band Non Reactive, but HSV2 band reactive. Since the common band was Non Reactive but one type was reactive, the lab said I should get retested.
I figured out how to get a Western Blot from U. Washington as I did not want to do Immunoblot again. My blood was drawn 12 weeks after the first test (13, 14 and 15 weeks after the last three times I had sex). The results for Western blot came back negative for both types and I ruled out that the first test was wrong. But, for the year after that, once in a while I thought about it since I had read comments you made on MedHelp that usually it is good to wait 16 weeks after last time of sex and I waited only 13 weeks.
In December 2013 I decided I wanted a new Western blot. Results got back indeterminate for type 2. Let me say that I was kind of upset. I then waited 22 weeks and got another, third, Western blot on May 2014. However, contrary to what it is suggested, it was a standalone test.
It once again came back indeterminate. I called them at the virology lab at U. Washington and I could obtained a phone appointment with someone at their clinic. This person ask the technician at the lab to look at both indeterminate tests and the conclusion was that after 6 months, the new test result was exactly the same as the December one. Namely, 1 band among the many type 2 bands is reacting. He told me that it is a rare instance, but that it sometime happens and because only one band is reacting and it is not changing, it means that I have something in the blood that triggers it, but it is not herpes and I should stop worrying.
I have been mostly able to stop worrying, but as this question shows, not completely… I would like to ask for your opinion on the matter?
November 24, 2014 at 6:56 pm #1992
You are not alone with the indeterminate western blots. I think it’s really interesting that your ELISA was over 4 and you still had an indeterminate western blot. Good for you for pursuing this further!
I am in total agreement with UW on this. The standard we have been using, at their suggestions, is that if the western blot is still indeterminate at 6 months, then the reaction on the test is due to something of your own in your blood that looking similar enough to part of the herpes antibody that is triggers one band on the test, but it is not herpes.
I know it will likely be hard for you to stop worrying completely, but if you were our patients, I would tell you exactly what UW told you. Unfortunately, herpes testing is not a perfect science and we kind of have to do the best we can with some unclear aspects of testing.
In the past year, I have seen four people test above 4 with either an indeterminate western blot or a negative western blot. All but one had parents born in other countries. May I ask if your parents were born here? My three all were born in India. We know that African samples react a bit differently on some herpes test, I’m wondering about other populations as well?
November 24, 2014 at 8:39 pm #1993
Thank you very much for your answer, it is really appreciated.
Indeed it is a little bit hard to completely stop worrying although I know rationally that I should. Anyway, the rational thing would have probably been to stop after the negative Western Blot at 13 weeks, but I did not and hence the two indeterminate.
To answer your question, I was born in Canada and I, as well as my parents, are whites. To my knowledge, I have no known ancestors of different ethnicity.
November 24, 2014 at 11:25 pm #1999
I suspect, if they looked back at the first western blot that was drawn the results would have been exactly the same.
So there goes my theory about high false positives. Oh well, I’ll keep working on it.
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