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Varicella Zoster Serology

Alias: Chickenpox, Shingles, VZV, human herpesvirus 3, HHV-3, HHV, Human alphaherpesvirus 3

Discipline: Virology

Test information: Used to assess the susceptibility of immunocompetent patients to varicella infection and to detect evidence of prior infection. The assay is not intended to diagnose acute infection and should not be performed on patients with symptoms of chickenpox or shingles without prior discussion with a Consultant Microbiologist. Where Varicella immunity is determined to be uncertain, specimens will be referred for quantitative antibody measurement. The assay is not suitable for samples from immunocompromised patients. Samples from immunocompromised patients are automatically referred for quantitative serology.

Availability: Available locally Monday - Friday during routine hours: 08:45 - 17:15.
Urgent testing (exposure events) available out of hours on telephone request.
Referred to Severn Pathology North Bristol NHS Trust: Monday - Friday during routine hours: 08:45 - 17:15.

Turnaround Time: Locally Same Day - 2 Days
Up to 2 Days upon receipt at Severn Pathology North Bristol NHS Trust.

Related Tests:

Specimen Type(s)
  • Clotted blood;
Other Acceptable Specimen Type(s)
Specimen Container - Adult
  • Gold Top SST BD;
Specimen Container - Paediatric
  • Plain Top Sarstedt;
  • Varicella zoster antibodies;
Part of a test profile?
Volume (min) of sample to be sent to laboratory
5 - 10mL
Patient Preparation, Sample Handling and Transport
  • Minimum-clotting time 30 minutes.
  • Specimens should be transported to the laboratory as soon as possible.
  • Outside of normal hours samples should be refrigerated (2 °C to 8 °C).
  • Always indicate whether patient is pregnant or immunocompromised and give details of exposure including contact date.
Maximum add on time
Units and Reference Ranges / Interpretation
Local Results: Negative / Equivocal / Positive
Quantitative Antibody Result Units: mIU/mL
UKAS number
UKAS accredited test?

If you have any queries about a test or results interpretation please contact us.

Last updated: 06-06-2023