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Test ID: HSVG Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Type 1- and Type 2-Specific Antibodies, IgG, Serum

Reporting Name

HSV Types 1 and 2 Ab, IgG, S

Useful For

Determining whether a patient has been previously exposed to herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2


Distinguishing between infection caused by HSV types 1 and 2, especially in patients with subclinical or unrecognized HSV infection


This test should not be used to diagnose active or recent infection.

Clinical Information

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 are members of the Herpesviridae family and produce infections that range from mild stomatitis to disseminated and fatal disease. Clinical conditions associated with HSV infection include gingivostomatitis, keratitis, encephalitis, vesicular skin eruptions, aseptic meningitis, neonatal herpes, genital tract infections, and disseminated primary infection.


Infections with HSV types 1 and 2 can differ significantly in their clinical manifestations and severity. HSV type 2 primarily causes urogenital infections and is found almost exclusively in adults. HSV type 1 is closely associated with orolabial infection, although genital infection with this virus can be common in certain populations.


The diagnosis of HSV infections is routinely made based on clinical findings and supported by laboratory testing, primarily using polymerase chain reaction to detect viral DNA. However, in instances of subclinical or unrecognized HSV infection, serologic testing for IgG-class antibodies to type-specific HSV glycoprotein G may be useful. There are several circumstances where it may be important to distinguish between infection caused by HSV types 1 and 2 (eg, risk of reactivation). In addition, the results of HSV type-specific IgG testing are sometimes used during pregnancy to identify risks of congenital HSV disease and allow for focused counseling prior to delivery.


This assay detects IgG-class antibodies to type-specific herpes simplex virus (HSV) glycoprotein G and may allow for the differentiation of infection caused by HSV types 1 and 2. The presence of IgG-class antibodies to HSV types 1 or 2 indicates previous exposure, and does not necessarily indicate that HSV is the causative agent of an acute illness.

Report Available

Same day/1 to 2 days

Day(s) Performed

Monday through Saturday

Clinical Reference

1. Ashley RL, Wald A: Genital herpes: review of the epidemic and potential use of type-specific serology. Clin Microbiol Rev. 1999 Jan;12(1):1-8

2. Ashley RL, Wu L, Pickering JW, et al: Premarket evaluation of a commercial glycoprotein G-based enzyme immunoassay for herpes simplex virus type-specific antibodies. J Clin Microbiol. 1998 Jan;36(1):294-295

3. Brown ZA, Selke S, Zeh J, et al: The acquisition of herpes simplex virus during pregnancy. N Engl J Med 1997 Aug;337(8):509-515

4. Lafferty WE, Coombs RW, Benedetti J, et al: Recurrences after oral and genital herpes simplex infection. Influence of site of infection and viral type. N Engl J Med. 1987 Jun;316(23):1444-1449

5. Binnicker MJ, Jespersen DJ, Harring JA: Evaluation of three multiplex flow immunoassays to enzyme immunoassay for the detection and differentiation of IgG class antibodies to herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Feb;17(2):253-257

6. Nath P, Kabir MA, Doust SK, Ray A: Diagnosis of herpes simplex virus: Laboratory and point-of-care techniques. Infect Dis Rep. 2021 Jun 2;13(2):518-539

Method Name

Multiplex Flow Immunoassay (MFI)

Specimen Type


Specimen Required

Collection Container/Tube:

Preferred: Serum gel

Acceptable: Red top

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 0.6 mL

Collection Instructions: Centrifuge and aliquot serum into plastic vial.

Specimen Minimum Volume

0.4 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Serum Refrigerated (preferred) 14 days
  Frozen  14 days

Reference Values


Test Classification

This test has been cleared, approved, or is exempt by the US Food and Drug Administration and is used per manufacturer's instructions. Performance characteristics were verified by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements.

CPT Code Information



LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
HSVG HSV Types 1 and 2 Ab, IgG, S 81621-5


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
HS1G HSV Type 1 Ab, IgG, S 51916-5
HS2G HSV Type 2 Ab, IgG, S 43180-9

Profile Information

Test ID Reporting Name Available Separately Always Performed
HS1G HSV Type 1 Ab, IgG, S No Yes
HS2G HSV Type 2 Ab, IgG, S No Yes


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send 1 of the following forms with the specimen:

-General Request (T239)

-Infectious Disease Serology Test Request (T916)

Mayo Clinic Laboratories | Microbiology and Infectious Disease Catalog Additional Information:

mml-gisti, mml-pregnancyneonate