Which lab studies are used to detect varicella-zoster virus (VZV)?

Updated: Jan 25, 2019
  • Author: Camila K Janniger, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Laboratory studies for VZV include the following:

  • Direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) testing of vesicular fluid or a corneal lesion

  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of vesicular fluid, a corneal lesion, or blood

  • Tzanck smear of vesicular fluid (lower sensitivity and specificity than DFA or PCR)

See Workup for more detail.


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