Chickenpox and Shingles Tests

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Also known as: Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV); Herpes Zoster
Formal name: Varicella Zoster Virus Culture; Varicella Zoster Virus by PCR; Varicella Zoster Virus by DFA; Varicella Zoster Virus Antibodies; IgG and IgM

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

If your doctor suspects that you have, or have recently had, chickenpox or shingles and a diagnosis is necessary; to show immunity to the varicella zoster virus (VZV) or the potential for re-activating a VZV infection before receiving immunosuppressive drugs

When to Get Tested?

To check immune status and/or to find an active infection; sometimes when a person has unusual (atypical) and/or severe symptoms and the doctor wants to distinguish between a VZV infection and another cause; prior to an organ transplant or when pregnant woman, or an immune-compromised person has been exposed to someone with chickenpox

Sample Required?

A blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm for VZV antibody testing; to detect the virus itself, a sample of fluid from a blister (vesicle), blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or other body fluid or tissue

Test Preparation Needed?

No test preparation is needed.