Frequently Asked Questions about RVx’s ABVIC Test

Why is a HSV type-specific diagnosis important?

       Sexual intimacy is an important part of how life-long relationships are established. Patients who are accurately informed about whether their genital herpes is caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2 may be better able to contemplate future relationships, as the risk of HSV transmission to a future partner may be reduced by entering into a relationship with a person who carries the same virus. When two prospective sexual partners have an accurate understanding of their HSV serological status, they may enter into such a relationship understanding the relative risk of transmission. Moreover, in the future, RVx hopes to offer preventative HSV-1 or HSV-2 vaccines to HSV discordant couples such that differences in HSV serological status do not have to be the obstacle that keeps two people from exploring a lifetime together.

How do I interpret the results of the HSV ABVIC test?

       The flow cytometry plots produced by the HSV ABVIC test are intuitive and easy to understand, and these will be included in your test results. In addition, your test results will be analyzed by our team to offer you one of four simple conclusions:

HSV seronegative:

Click here to see a typical negative result

HSV-1 (+):

Click here to see a typical HSV-1 (+) result

HSV-2 (+):

Click here to see a typical HSV-2 (+) result

HSV-1(+)2(+):

Click here to see a typical HSV-1(+)2(+) result

Who can benefit from the HSV ABVIC test?

  • Persons told they have “low-positive” HSV-2 antibody results, but who have no symptoms.  Many such persons are HSV-2-seronegative.
  • Persons who are unsure if their symptoms are caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2.
  • Discordant couples in which only one partner has genital herpes. There is a 1-in- 3 chance both partners carry the same HSV serotype, which reduces the risk of transmission.

Does the HSV ABVIC test for IgG or IgM antibodies?

        RVx’s initial offering of the HSV antibody test is an IgG-based test providing patients and doctors with a simple and definitive HSV serological test that is highly quantitative and internally controlled, and thus offers a higher degree of confidence than qualitative HSV serological tests such as HerpeSelect or the HSV Western Blot.

        It is anticipated that this test may be easily adapted to an IgM-based test for the purpose of definitively diagnosing primary genital herpes infections as being caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2. However, before RVx will be able to offer such an IgM-based HSV ABVIC test, clinical trials will be required to validate the usefulness and viability of this application of the test.

Seronegative Result in HSV ABVIC Test
seronegative-(interpret_results-page)
    When a person’s blood is evaluated in the HSV ABVIC Test, the first level of analysis focuses on whether their blood contains IgG antibodies that bind HSV-1+ or HSV-2+ cells to significantly higher levels than uninfected (UI) control cells. When blood from seronegative individuals is mixed with test cells, HSV-1+ and HSV-2+ cells remain at the same low vertical position on the y-axis of flow cytometry plots. This is evident in the total HSV antibody test on the left, as well as in the HSV-1 and HSV-2 specific antibody tests in the middle and on the right, respectively. The t0, t1, and t2 test statistics associated with each test are a measure of the average shift of the test populations of HSV-1+ and/or HSV-2+ cells relative to UI cells (background controls). The rectangles superimposed on each plot depict where the HSV-1+ and/or HSV-2+ cells would be expected in an individual who was HSV-1 or HSV-2 seropositive.

HSV-1 (+) Result in HSV ABVIC Test
HSV-1+-Result-(interpret_results-page)    In persons who are HSV-1 (+), the test for total HSV antibody (data in left column) reveals the individual is HSV-seropositive, but a vertical shift in both HSV-1+ and HSV-2+ cells is observed. To resolve whether the individual is HSV-1(+), HSV-2(+), or HSV-1+2+, it is necessary to turn to the two type-specific tests. After HSV-2 pre-adsorption of serum (data in center column), a high level of HSV-1-specific antibody is observed. The probability this individual is HSV-1-seronegative may be statistically shown to be less than one in a million. Thus, a conclusion is offered that the individual is HSV-1 seropositive. The reciprocal HSV-2-specific antibody test reveals that the individual is HSV-2 seronegative.

HSV-2 (+) Result in HSV ABVIC Test
HSV-2+-Result-(interpret_results-page)    In persons who are HSV-2 (+), the test for total HSV antibody (data in left column) reveals the individual is HSV-seropositive, but a vertical shift in both HSV-1+ and HSV-2+ cells is observed. To resolve whether the individual is HSV-1(+), HSV-2(+), or HSV-1+2+, it is necessary to turn to the two type-specific tests. After HSV-1 pre-adsorption of the individual’s serum (data in right column), a high level of HSV-2-specific antibody is observed. The probability this individual is HSV-2-seronegative may be statistically shown to be less than one in a million. Thus, a conclusion is offered that the individual is HSV-2 seropositive. The reciprocal HSV-1-specific antibody test reveals that the individual is HSV-1 seronegative.

HSV-1+2+ Result in HSV ABVIC Test
HSV-1+2+-Result-(interpret_results-page)    In persons who are HSV-1+2+ (double-positive), the test for total HSV antibody reveals the individual is strongly HSV-seropositive. Although double-positive serum produces unusually strong binding to both HSV-1+ and HSV-2+ cells (data in left column), this data is insufficient to prove that the individual is HSV-1+2+. Thus, it is necessary to turn to the two type-specific tests. After HSV-1 pre-adsorption of the individual’s serum (data in right column), a high level of HSV-2-specific antibody is observed. Thus, a conclusion is offered that the individual is HSV-2 seropositive. Reciprocally, after HSV-2 pre-adsorption of the individual’s serum (data in center column), a high level of HSV-1-specific antibodies is observed. Thus, a conclusion is offered that the individual is HSV-1 seropositive. Because the person has type-specific antibodies to both HSV-1 and HSV-2, the data show the individual to be HSV-1+2+ double-seropositive.

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