Diagnostic Test Directory

Virology Laboratory

Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) PCR - eye specimen

  • LIS Mnemonic: VZVPCR

    Collect

    Conjunctival swab in viral transport medium.

    Volume Required

    N/A

    Minimum Required

    N/A

    Transport

    Keep specimen at 4C

    Processing

    CONJUNCTIVAL SWABS should be taken by stroking the lower conjunctival sac of the eye 5-6 times with a rayon or Dacron tipped, plastic or metal shafted swab to obtain epithelial cells. To facilitate binding of the cellular material to the swab, the swab can be premoistened with sterile saline. Be certain to express the excess liquid from the swab before attempting to collect the specimen. After specimen collection, place swab into tube of viral transport medium. Corneal swabs, tear samples, aqueous humor, vitreous humor, corneal biopsy, and retinal biopsy specimens are also acceptable, depending on the type of eye involvement.

    Unacceptable conditions

    Swab specimens not received in viral transport medium or received in bacteriological transport medium are discouraged. DO NOT USE CALCIUM ALGINATE OR WOODEN SHAFT SWABS FOR COLLECTION OF SPECIMENS; ONLY USE DACRON OR RAYON TIPPED SWABS ON PLASTIC OR METAL SHAFTS.

Days Performed

Daily

Reported

Same day

Reflex Testing

N/A

CPT

87798

Methodology

Amplification and detection of VZV DNA glycoprotein B ORF 62 gene using TaqMan real-time PCR technology. This test is performed pursuant to an agreement with Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.

Interpretation

If positive, results are reported as varicella-zoster virus DNA detected.

Reference Values

Negative or no varicella-zoster virus DNA detected

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