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Test Code NBLD0361 Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV) Nucleic Acid Detection, Non-CSF

Useful For

  • The rapid detection of varicella-zoster virus DNA in clinical specimens
  • Diagnosing Varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the cause of chickenpox and herpes zoster (also called shingles)


Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Performing Laboratory

Montana State Public Health Laboratory

Specimen Requirements

Specimen Type: Lesion

Container/Tube: Universal Viral Transport Media

Specimen Volume: Adequate amount

Collection Instructions: 

  1. Aspirate fluid from multiple fresh unbroken vesicles and place into 1-2 mL of Univeral Viral Transport Media. 
  2. Remove the top of the vesicle and place the skin of the vesicle top into a sterile tube without transport. 
  3. Label tubes with patient’s name (first and last), date and actual time of collection, and type of specimen.
  4. Store both samples in cold conditions and ship on cold packs.  Ship within 48 hours of collection.

Specimen Rejection:

1. Calcium alginate swab or swab with wooden shaft

2. Spinal fluid.  Refer to test NBDL0536 MENINGITIS/ENCEPHALITIS PANEL, NAD for CSF testing.

Specimen Transport Temperature


Specimen Stability


Specimen Type Temperature Time
Viral Transport Media Ambient 48 hours
  Refrigerated 5 days


Reference Values


Day(s) Test Set Up

Monday through Friday


Turnaround Time: 1 to 3 days

Test Classification and CPT Coding