What do IgG and IgM values in HSV tests indicate?

Q. If IgG is positive and IgM is negative, is the person positive or negative for HSV?

Answered by
Dr. Sugreev Singh
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 12, 2021 and last reviewed on: Aug 04, 2023

Hi doctor,

If the results of a laboratory blood test for HSV 1 and HSV 2 come back as follows. HSV 1: IgG is 40.3, and IgM is negative. HSV 2: IgG is 3.2, the supplemental reflex test is negative, and IgM is negative. Is this person positive or negative for the virus? Is the low positive for HSV 2 caused by cross-reactivity to the HSV 1 IgG? Is the supplemental reflex HSV 2 test "negative" the same level of "negative" as someone who tested lower (negative) on the first test? So, would this person say they are HSV 1 positive and HSV 2 negative? Kindly give your opinion.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Actually, IgG (immunoglobulin G) values present that person has had an infection already, and now antibodies are formed, so nothing to worry about if patients do not have any symptoms. At the same time, IgM (immunoglobulin M) shows current positivity of infection. And as you mentioned, it is negative for both HSV (herpes simplex virus) 1 and HSV 2. It means the patient is not having a virus currently. Did the person had symptoms previously? What is the symptoms patient experiencing currently? What medicine he or she taking currently? I hope this was helpful.

Hi doctor,

Thank you. The patient never had any symptoms or outbreaks of genital herpes (has had cold sores on the lip in the past). The patient does not have any symptoms currently. The patient is under the following medications Adderall, Wellbutrin, A prescription blood thinner (not sure which) and A non-prescription probiotic. The patient has never had any HSV 2 symptoms. However, she had unprotected intercourse and felt discomfort in the genital area, so she went to the gynecologist. He swabbed her vaginal area and found it was bacterial vaginosis. But, the patient had been distressed and paranoid, so she got blood lab work to test for HSV 1 and 2. She was worried about the positive HSV 2 number in the initial test, even though the reflex test shows negative. After doing some research, I found that there are often false positives if the number is under 5.0. So a reflex or supplemental test was done to determine the actual result. Often if HSV 1 is positive due to cross-reactivity. Is she HSV 2 positive or negative? If she has a new sexual partner, does she say that she has tested positive for HSV 2 or negative? Please give your opinion.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

As I mentioned, it is negative so that she can have a new partner. Still, to prevent other sexually transmitted diseases, it is always better to have protected intercourse. And she can tell to partner that she is HSV negative, but there are antibodies in her body due to HSV she had previously. Maybe it was not genital herpes. It was herpes labialis, and currently, she is negative and does not have any symptoms, so do not worry. If anything else, please feel free to ask.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
HSV 1/ 2(IGG) type-spec AB tested positive. Am I contagious?

In general population, around 50 to 75 % have HSV antibodies in the blood which they might have acquired at some time in the past life due to clinical or subclinical herpes infection ...   Read full

I have high IG count and low RBC count. What could be the cause?

.. the delayed response. Following is my opinion on your asked question. The low hemoglobin and hematocrit were due to mild anemia. It could be due to any internal or intestinal bleeding or due to piles.   Read full

I had oral sex. I am diagnosed with herpes type 1 & 2. I have flu like symptoms. Do I have HIV?

28 years, female, 2006 diagnosis DLBCL, after 8 rchop and radiation remission 2005 dhiarreas started, doctors said irritabile colon, 2006 - 2008 no dhiarreas (probably cause I was on high doses of medrol before and during rchop) 2010 dhiarreas are back, no blood,pain in abdomen, colonoskopy, gastroskopy ok so dr again said colon irritabile again, no antibodies for celiac deciease, iritabile colon again diagnosis confirmed(no one ever checked small bowel!   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

PCOS and Liver Problems
The hormonal imbalances in polycystic ovary syndrome could cause liver diseases. Read the article to know the relationship between these medical conditions.  Read more»
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Lateralization Technique
The inferior alveolar nerve lateralization technique is a surgical lateralization technique to reposition the nerve. Read the article to know more about this.  Read more»
COVID-19 and Ebola: Similarities and Differences
This article gives a comparison and broader overview of the outbreak of the two deadliest diseases that showed a greater incidence over the last two decades.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Pathologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.