IgM test removal at QUEST Diagnostics is a win for Herpes clinical care

Herpes Cure Advocacy celebrates and thanks Quest Diagnostics for removing the HSV 1/2 IgM test from their product offerings. Quest Diagnostic joins Mayo Clinic in the removal of this test from their product offerings. This is a win for herpes advocacy and a small step forward to better clinical care for Herpes Simplex Virus in the US.

On March 17th 2022 QUEST leadership confirmed:

“Thank you for reaching out regarding Quest Diagnostics offering of Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) 1/2 IgM antibody testing. We are in the process of discontinuing this test code as a standalone test as well as HSV 1/2 IgM that is within some testing panels.”

The IgM test is a serology test for HSV 1/2 antibodies indicated to diagnose very recent infection within 7-10 days. This test has historically proven to be highly inaccurate, with false positive/negative results nearly 50% of the time. Resulting in many patients being told they are HSV positive or negative erroneously. The CDC has been recommending against this for decades doctors have been using this test. Per 2021 CDC STI Treatment Guidelines:

Immunoglobulin M (IgM) testing for HSV-1 or HSV-2 is not useful because IgM tests are not type specific and might be positive during recurrent genital or oral episodes of herpes (460). Therefore, HSV IgM testing is not recommended.

Please see the test to be removed here.

Accurate diagnostic tools are the foundation of prevention strategy to reduce prevalence and understand spread of any infectious disease. Learn more about why more accurate diagnostic tests for HSV are critically needed.

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