Can a Blood Test Detect Herpes?

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The short answer is yes. There are a few blood tests capable of detecting infection of the Herpes Simplex Virus. The most common is the Polymerase Chain Reaction test, or PCR. This test will look for small pieces of the virus’ DNA to diagnose with a high degree of accuracy. Antibody tests are also used to diagnose the Herpes Simplex Virus. Antibody tests look for specific proteins created by the body’s immune system as it attempts to fight off the infection. These tests consist of a solution of Herpes Antibodies and a fluorescent dye that is added to the blood sample. If the virus is present in the blood sample the dyed antibodies will agglomerate near the virus thus rendering it visible when viewed under a special microscope. The advantage of the antibody test is that it can differentiate between the two known strains of the Herpes virus.

Note: This article is not medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your specific condition.