Not just the “cold”: the many-sided herpes virus

Herpes is traditionally associated with a cold sore on the lips. However, the virus is much more multifaceted than it might seem. Recurrent acute respiratory infections, cystitis and even chronic fatigue are “classic” forms of its manifestation, often not receiving proper diagnostic attention. What are the signs of the presence of herpes? And how to confirm the “guess”?

Herpes viruses type 1 and 2
The most famous representatives of the herpetic family are types 1 and 2. The first is manifested by the same “cold” on the lips, and the second is localized on the genitals. The diagnosis in this case, as a rule, is not in doubt. And if such appear, the assumption can be confirmed by one of two methods:

analysis of the contents of herpetic vesicles by PCR or
blood test for antibodies of class M and G.

Destruction of Epstein-Barr virus, 3D illustration. Concept for Epstein-Barr virus infection treatment and prevention

It should be noted that research is relevant at different stages of the infectious process, which should be taken into account when taking tests.

So, the PCR method is used in the acute phase of the disease, and the correct material can be taken only with the participation of a dermatologist. A blood test for antibodies is free from this “drawback”. However, immunoglobulins M do not appear earlier than the 7-10th day of the primary disease, and IgG – only in the 3rd week of the infectious process.

Class G antibodies can also be used as a retrospective diagnosis when the disease occurred several weeks, months or even years ago, but has not received laboratory confirmation. The detection of antibodies in this case indicates not only the transferred process, but also the carriage, since after infection the virus never “leaves” the human body.

Herpes 3 types (chickenpox) – Varicella Zoster
The causative agent of the so-called “chickenpox”, the diagnosis of which is mainly based on the clinical manifestations of the infection. However, just like its “brothers”, the virus, after recovery, remains “living” in the fibers of the nervous system, potentiating the risk of developing its other form – herpes zoster. In this case, the diagnosis is not possible without a blood test for class M antibodies.

But immunoglobulins G to the pathogen are more interesting in the case when there is no information abo

ut vaccination or previously transferred chickenpox. The presence of class G antibodies indicates the presence of immunity to the virus.

Herpes type 4 – Epstein-Barr virus
This type of herpes is “guilty” of the development of infectious mononucleosis, frequent acute respiratory infections and chronic diseases of the oropharynx and nasopharynx, and is also “suspected” of provoking Burkitt’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease.

More than serious consequences of its activity determine the relevance of targeted examination, the options of which can be both PCR diagnostics and analysis for antibodies.

So exacerbation of acute respiratory infections, tonsillitis, sinusitis or overgrowth of adenoids is a reason to take a smear for the Epstein-Barr virus. However, the information content of the study is sharply reduced after the use of rinses and antisept

ic drugs.

But a blood test for class G antibodies is of secondary importance here. Their presence indicates the carriage of type 4 herpes, but cannot confirm its participation in the local inflammatory process.

Herpes type 5 – Cytomegalovirus
The fifth type of herpes, like Epstein-Barr, is associated with diseases of the oropharynx and nasopharynx, and, among other things, is a common cause of recurrent cystitis.

At the time of an exacerbation, a smear from the pharynx, saliva or urine for a PCR study is also shown as an examination, and you can find out about the carrier by IgG antibodies.

It should be noted that cytomegalovirus and type 2 herpes are included in the group of TORCH infections, which determines its inclusion in the list of examination of pregnant women.

Herpes type 6 – chronic fatigue syndrome
The sixth type of herpes has not yet received its unique name, and in general, for a long time remained “in the shade”. Today, the virus has been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, bone marrow suppression, encephalitis, pneumonia, and baby roseola.

And the most accessible diagnostic method is a blood test for IgG antibodies to type 6 herpes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herpes_simplex.

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