Varicella-zoster IgG

Qualitative chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA) for IgG antibodies to Varicella zoster virus in serum, used to determine immune status. This test is NOT suitable for diagnosis of chickenpox or shingles. Instead, a swab should be sent for molecular testing. If an urgent VZV IgG test is required following contact with chickenpox or shingles, contact on-call Infection StR via the hospital switchboard. This assay is available routinely Mon to Fri. Please Note: This test has not yet been assessed by UKAS for ISO15189: 2012 compliance.
Clinical details: 
Varicella-zoster virus is the causative agent of Chickenpox. Initial symptoms may include nausea, fever, aching, painful muscles, headache, generally feeling unwell, and loss of appetite. These are followed by a characteristic itchy red vesicular rash, covering the whole body. Complications such as pneumonia, septicaemia (blood poisoning), and meningitis may occur in neonates less than four weeks old, pregnant females and those of any age with a suppressed immune system.
Infection during pregnancy may lead to fetal infection. Although rare this can cause serious complications including, scarring of the skin, eye defects, shortened limbs, and brain damage.
After a chickenpox infection, the virus stays dormant in the body's nerve tissues and may reactivate, causing shingles.
Reference range: 

Not Applicable


Synonyms or keywords: 
Milli-international units per milliliter (mIU/mL): numerical values < 250 mIU/mL are stated, numerical values >250 mIU/mL are reported as "Detected"
Sample type and Volume required: 
2.5 – 5ml Yellow Top Serum Separation Tube (SST) Clotted Blood (for serum). Note: If using Electronic Patient Record (EPR) please order "Varicella-zoster IgG".
Turnaround time: 
4 working days
Storage and transport: 
Place labelled sample in a sealed sample bag and send to Central Specimen Reception (CSR). To prevent sample haemolysis please store samples in refrigerator if a delay in sending samples to CSR is unavoidable.
Infection Sciences Department at St Thomas' Hospital
020 7188 8008
St Thomas' Hospital
North Wing - 5th Floor
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH
Core opening hours: Monday-Friday 0900-1730

For clinical advice or interpretation of results, please contact the laboratory in the first instance.

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Last updated: 28/11/2018