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Varicella-Zoster antigen detection
Lab code: VZVA
Test Synonyms:
Varicella zoster antigen detection; Herpes zoster antigen detection; VZV antigen detection
Inpatient Req:
Microbiology (#11854)  
Outpatient Req:
Clinical Labs (#83608)  
A 3 mL UTM tube with a nylon flocked swab collection kit and specimen collection instructions will be supplied by the Microbiology lab. Use the COPAN nylon flocked swab to vigorously swab the base of the lesion or ulcer. Place the swab into the 3 mL UTM tube and immediately transport the specimen to the lab. If specimen transport to the lab is delayed more than 2 hours from collection, transport to the lab on wet ice. See the Additional Resources link in the lab handbook for detailed specimen collection instructions.
Result Time:
24-48 hours   Cost: $$
Reference Interval:
Important Information:
The direct antigen method (DFA) is more sensitive than culture for Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) detection. Viral culture for VZV is not performed. Antigen testing can be performed on skin lesions. Specimens are unsatisfactory if there are insufficient numbers of basal and parabasal cells present. Specimens must be received in lab before 2:30pm for same day result Monday-Friday (and 12pm on Saturday). Positive results are called to requesting physician or Care Unit.
Additional Resources:
Click here for specimen collection instructions