Test Overview
Test Methodology

Direct Immunofluorescent Antibody (DFA)

Test Usage

Rapid detection of Varicella Zoster infections.

Reference Range *


Test Limitations

A negative test does not rule out infection; a negative result during acute infection can occur if no virus infected basal epithelial cells are present on the slide. The rapid antigen test and the shell vial for Varicella zoster virus are more sensitive than traditional viral culture. It is advisable to send a specimen for viral culture/shell vial in addition to that for the rapid antigen test, in case the slide is not suitable for testing.

Test Details
Days Set Up
Analytic Time

2 hours

Soft Order Code
MiChart Code
Varicella zoster Virus Antigen
  • Chicken Pox Antigen
  • Chicken Pox Direct Antigen
  • Herpes zoster
  • Rapid VZV
  • Shingles Antigen
  • Varicella Direct Antigen
  • Viral Antigen: Varicella zoster
  • VZV Antigen
  • VZV Direct Antigen
  • VZVD
Specimen Requirements
Collection Instructions

Special 3-well Teflon slides are available from MLabs. Using a pencil, label the frosted end of the slide with the patient's first and last names as well as a second identifier such as the patient's medical record number. One slide containing epithelial cells scraped from the base and periphery of the lesion is required. Carefully open the vesicle, soak up the fluid with a dacron or rayon swab, place into M4 transport and use for viral culture. Scrape the base and periphery of the lesion with a sharp instrument or vigorously rub with a dry swab. Gently roll the cells onto the slide, rolling each well separately. Allow the slide to air dry and refrigerate.

Normal Volume
1 slide
Minimum Volume
1 slide
CPT Code
Fee Code
NY State Approved