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
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.