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Lab Manual for UCSF Clinical Laboratories

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Item Value
Available Stat? No
Test code VZS
Performed by? Microbiology
Sendout? no
Price range $
In House Availability test run 2 times a week: Tuesday and Friday.
Principle This is a test for immune status to varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the etiologic agent of chickenpox and shingles. The test procedure is based on the principle of latex agglutination. Polystyrene latex particles coated with VZV antigen will form visible agglutination when mixed with patient serum containing antibodies to VZV. Results are reported as positive or negative for presence of antibody. This test is used to help guide placement of health care personnel for care of VZV infected patients.
Method EIA
Interpretation Varicella is usually a benign disease of childhood. It is characterized by an incubation period of 10 to 21 days (average 14 days), 1 to 2 days of viral shedding, followed by generalized eruptions of individual maculopapules rapidly becoming vesicles that may continue to appear for 4 to 5 days. Patients above 20 years of age and, to a lesser extent, those below one year of age are at increased risk of complications. IgG-specific antibodies are detectable within 4 to 5 days after the onset of symptoms, and typically are present throughout life. Therefore, a single serum sample may be assayed as positive or negative for VZV antibody as an indication of previous exposure to the virus. Antibodies are not 100% protective and secondary infections can occur, although rarely. However, like other herpes viruses, a permanent reservoir exists in the sensory nerve ganglia and recrudescence of the primary infection may occur in the elderly or otherwise immuno-suppressed. This is most commonly manifested as herpes zoster (shingles), occurring during the lifetime of 10 - 20% of individuals. In the severely immunocompromised, the virus can disseminate, producing a widespread cutaneous syndrome, pneumonitis or encephalitis.
Container type gold top gel tube
Amount to Collect 3 mL
Collection Instructions Grossly hemolyzed or lipemic specimens are not acceptable.
Sample type Serum
Normal range positive
Stability 5 days at 4°C
Additional information REQUISITION: Blood/Serum - Main Laboratory.
References 1. VIDAS Varicella-Zoster IgG. Product Insert 07968-GB-2004/09. bioMerieux.

2. Mandel, GL, ed. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 6th ed., Churchill Livingston, Inc., NY, 2005.
CPT coding 86787
Last Updated 2/20/2009 11:51:01 AM
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