Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Types 1 and 2, IgM Antibodies, Indirect

Additional Information:

UFHPL Epic order code: LAB4875

CPT Code(s):

86695, 86696

Specimen Requirements:

Type: Serum

Container/Tube: Red-top tube or gel-barrier tube

Sample Volume: 1 mL

Minimum Volume: 0.3 mL (Repeat testing is not possible with this specimen volume.)

Storage: Store specimens at room temperature.

Stability (collection to time of analysis/testing):

  • Ambient: 14 days
  • Refrigerated: 14 days
  • Frozen: 14 days
  • Freeze/Thaw Cycles: Stable (x 3)
Rejection Criteria:

  • Hemolysis
  • Lipemia
  • Bacterial contamination


This test provides a semiquantitative detection of IgM antibodies to herpes 1 and 2.


By design, all HSV indirect immunofluorescent antibody assays cannot be type-specific. The test is created using cell culture in which HSV type 1 or type 2 has been grown and infected some, but not all, of the cells present. When serum is reacted with this antigenic substrate, the antibodies formed by the patient will include both those that are type-specific as well as antibodies to shared not type-specific antigens of HSV-1 and HSV-2. Because of these shared antigens, many cross-reacting antibodies are formed. Elevated titers to both HSV-1 and HSV-2 may represent cross-reactive HSV antibodies rather than exposure to both HSV-1 and HSV-2.

This procedure may be considered by Medicare and other carriers as investigational and, therefore, may not be payable as a covered benefit for patients.


Indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA)