Varicella-Zoster Virus, Molecular Detection, PCR
Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test
Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes both varicella (chickenpox) and herpes zoster (shingles). VZV produces a generalized vesicular rash on the dermis (chickenpox) in normal children, usually before 10 years of age. After primary infection with VZV, the virus persists in latent form and may emerge (usually in adults 50 years of age and older) clinically to cause a unilateral vesicular eruption, generally in a dermatomal distribution (shingles).
Rapid (qualitative) detection of varicella-zoster virus DNA in clinical specimens for laboratory diagnosis of disease due to this virus
Detection of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) DNA in clinical specimens supports the clinical diagnosis of infection due to this virus.
VZV DNA is not detected in cerebrospinal fluid from patients without central nervous system disease caused by this virus.
This LightCycler PCR assay does not yield positive results with other herpesvirus gene targets (herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus).
Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances
A negative result does not exclude the possibility of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection.
The reference range is typically "negative" for this assay. This assay is only to be used for patients with a clinical history and symptoms consistent with VZV infection, and must be interpreted in the context of the clinical picture. This test is not used to screen asymptomatic patients.
Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.
Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature
1. Cinque P, Bossolasco S, Vago L, et al: Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) DNA in cerebrospinal fluid of patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus: VZV disease of the central nervous system or subclinical reactivation of VZV infection? Clin Infect Dis 1997;25(3):634-639
2. Brown M, Scarborough M, Brink N, et al: Varicella zoster virus-associated neurological disease in HIV-infected patients. Int J STD AIDS 2001;12(2):79-83
3. Studahl M, Hagberg L, Rekabdar E, Bergstrom T: Herpesvirus DNA detection in cerebrospinal fluid: differences in clinical presentation between alpha-, beta-, and gamma-herpesviruses. Scand J Infect Dis 2000;32(3):237-248
4. Iten A, Chatelard P, Vuadens P, et al: Impact of cerebrospinal fluid PCR on the management of HIV-infected patients with varicella-zoster virus infection of the central nervous system. J Neurovirol 1999;5(2):172-180