Test Overview
Test Methodology

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Test Usage

Rapid detection of Varicella zoster virus DNA in clinical specimens.

Reference Range *

Varicella zoster virus DNA not detected.

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

Test Limitations

A negative test result does not rule out the presence of Varicella zoster virus. Results should be used in conjunction with other laboratory test results and the patient's clinical profile.

Test Details
Days Set Up
Daily, twice per day (9 am and 2 pm)
Analytic Time

3 hours

Soft Order Code
MiChart Code
Varicella Zoster Virus DNA by PCR
  • VZV DNA detection by PCR
  • Herpes zoster virus detection, PCR
  • Chicken Pox detection, PCR
Specimen Requirements
Collection Instructions

For blister, lesion, or vesicle, unroof and scrape the base of the lesion with a Dacron or rayon swab to collect fluid and cells. Place the swab into M4-RT transport medium. Ideally specimens should be collected within 3-4 days of the onset of symptoms but no greater than 7 days. Specimens collected from lesions in the acute or vesicular stage will yield a higher number of viruses. Avoid contamination with creams, ointments, lotions, alcohol, Betadine solution or blood due to the potential for PCR inhibition. Transport within 48 hours of collection at room temperature or refrigerated. If delivery to the laboratory will be delayed >48 hours, freeze specimen at less than or equal to 20 degrees Celsius. Do not allow frozen specimens to thaw; transport as soon as possible. Calcium alginate swabs are not acceptable.

Normal Volume
3 mL M4-RT
Minimum Volume
0.5 mL M4-RT
Storage Temperature
Room temperature or refrigerated up to 48 hours or frozen for longer storage.
Rejection Criteria
Unfrozen specimen received > 48 hours after collection. Frozen specimen freeze-thawed more than one time. Specimens not received in M4 or VTM transport.
Additional Information

The Varicella zoster virus PCR is a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and detection system that utilizes a bi-functional fluorescent probe-primer for the detection of Varicella zoster virus in lesion/vesicle swabs. The assay has been validated as a direct protocol using unprocessed specimens. A DNA internal control is used to monitor the process for reagent integrity and to detect PCR inhibition. Results should be used in conjunction with other laboratory test results and the patient's clinical profile

CPT Code
Fee Code