Test Overview
Test Methodology

Chemiluminescent Immunoassay

Test Usage

Support the diagnosis of Varicella Zoster virus infection. The presence of IgG antibody generally indicates past exposure and immunity. The presence of IgM antibody or a fourfold or greater rise in IgG antibodies in paired sera indicates recent infection. Single IgG levels are not useful for supporting the diagnosis of acute infection. Elevated levels in neonates should be followed up with studies to rule out the presence of maternal antibodies, either by obtaining a convalescent specimen or by the demonstration of the absence of an IgM response.

Reference Range *

NEGATIVE: <135 Index. Absence of detectable VZV IgG antibodies. A negative result does not rule out acute infection. The test can be negative in infected patients during the incubation period and the early stages of infection. If exposure to varicella zoster virus is suspected, a second sample should be collected and tested 1-2 weeks later. EQUIVOCAL: 135 - 165 Index. A second sample should be collected and tested. POSITIVE: >165 Index. Presence of detectable VZV IgG antibodies. A positive result indicates exposure to the pathogen or administration of specific immunoglobulins. It is not an indication of active infection or stage of disease.

* Reference ranges may change over time. Please refer to the original patient report when evaluating results.

Test Limitations

A primary Herpes simplex infection can stimulate a heterologous antibody response in individuals previously infected by VZV. The absence of a significant antibody rise does not necessarily rule out VZV infection. The performance characteristics of this test have not been established for CSF, neonates, infants or cord blood. This is a qualitative test; quantitation for comparison of acute and convalescent sera has not been validated by the manufacturer of the current test system. Result values from different methodologies or from different institutions cannot be compared. Timing of specimen collection for paired sera is critical. In some patients, antibody may rise to significant levels and fall again to lower or undetectable levels within a month. Other patients may not develop significant antibody levels.

Test Details
Days Set Up
Monday - Friday
Analytic Time

8 hours

Soft Order Code
MiChart Code
Varicella Zoster Antibody, IgG
  • Varicella IgG, Qualitative
  • VZVG
  • Chicken Pox Antibody, IgG
  • Shingles Antibody, IgG
  • Viral Antibody: Varicella zoster IgG
  • VZV, IgG
  • VZV IgG Antibody, Index
  • VZV IgG Antibody, Qualitative
  • VZV IgG, Index
Chemical Pathology
Special Chemistry
Specimen Requirements
Collection Instructions

Collect specimen in an SST (preferred) or red top tube. Centrifuge, aliquot serum into a plastic vial and refrigerate. Post-vaccination samples should be collected 4-6 weeks from the date of vaccination.

Normal Volume
0.5 mL serum
Minimum Volume
0.3 mL serum
Additional Information

Index values are reported. Numerical results for single serum specimens do not reflect the magnitude of the measured result above the cut off and are not indicative of the total amount of antibody present.

CPT Code
Fee Code