Diagnosis of genital herpes is carried out by culturing a fluid sample collected from a blister. If this sample tests positive for herpes virus type 1 or 2, then the person is infected.
Tests can be carried out for the diagnosis of herpes infection. This is particularly done during the first outbreak or on a pregnant woman who is suspected to be infected.
The following are the most common of the diagnostic tests:
- Culture - The blister seen on an affected person is filled with a clear fluid and this fluid sample is collected and cultured for 2-3 days in the lab. If it tests positive for herpes virus then the person is infected.
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) - A PCR may be carried out on the blister fluid which contains small amounts of viral DNA. If this test, which is very accurate, tests positive then the patient has the herpes infection.
- Blood tests - Blood tests may be carried out to check out the antibody levels..A high titer may be an indicator of a herpes simplex infection, even in the absence of an outbreak.