Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
VZV reactivation is commonly seen in immunocompromised individuals. These patients are more likely to have disseminated disease with extensive skin lesions, pneumonia, hepatitis, or encephalitis. Proper management is dependent upon early diagnosis; quantitative DNA PCR is a rapid and sensitive tool useful for detecting the virus, tracking the course of the infection, and monitoring response to treatment.
2 - 5 days
Blood: Collect specimen in a lavender top (EDTA) tube. Send intact specimen at room temperature (4 - 5 mL). CSF: Send specimen frozen in a sterile tube (2 mL). The following specimen types are also acceptable: Bronchial Lavage (BAL) (2 mL in sterile tube, room temperature) and Tissue (moistened with saline, in sterile cup, freeze).
Test sent to Viracor Eurofins.