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Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) Quantitative Real-time PCR

Test Code: 9500

Some specimen types for this assay are reported as qualitative results; please see our Specimen Information section below for more information.

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Clinical Utility

VZV reactivation is commonly seen in immunocompromised individuals. These patients are more likely to have disseminated disease with extensive skin lesions, pneumonia, hepatitis, or encephalitis. Proper management is dependent upon early diagnosis; quantitative DNA PCR is a rapid and sensitive tool useful for detecting the virus, tracking the course of the infection, and monitoring response to treatment.

Procedure

Extraction of varicella-zoster viral DNA from specimen followed by amplification and detection using real-time, quantitative PCR. An internal control is added to ensure the extraction was performed correctly and the PCR reaction was not inhibited. This test has not been cleared or approved for diagnostic use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Specificity

The primers and probes used in this assay are specific for VZV based on similarity search algorithms. Additionally, no cross reactivity was detected when tested against adenoviruses, BKV, CMV, EBV, HSV-1, HSV-2, HHV-6 variant A, HHV-6 variant B, HHV-7, HHV-8, JCV, parvovirus B19, and SV-40.

Same day (within 8 - 12 hours from receipt of specimen), Monday through Saturday.

Specimen Type Order Code CPT Code NY Approved Volume Assay Range Special Instructions
aqueous fluid 9545 87799 Yes 1 mL (min. 0.05 mL) 3,160 copies/mL to 1x108 copies/mL
  • Transfer collected amount to sterile, screw top tube for shipment.
  • Do not add water, saline or other fluid media to container.
  • Do not ship specimen in syringe.
  • Store frozen and ship on dry ice for overnight delivery.
BAL 9509 87799 Yes 2 mL (min. 0.5 mL) 221 copies/mL to 1x108 copies/mL
  • Collect in a sterile, screw top tube.
  • Can be shipped at ambient or frozen temperature Monday through Friday.
  • Specimens shipped at ambient temperature must be received within 96 hrs. of collection.
bronch wash 9526 87799 Yes 2 mL (min. 0.5 mL) 221 copies/mL to 1x108 copies/mL
  • Collect in a sterile, screw top tube.
  • Can be shipped at ambient or frozen temperature Monday through Friday.
  • Specimens shipped at ambient temperature must be received within 96 hrs. of collection.
CSF 9503 87799 Yes 2 mL (min. 0.5 mL) 251 copies/mL to 1x108 copies/mL
  • Collect in a sterile, screw top tube.
  • Store frozen and ship on dry ice for overnight delivery.
eye swab 9527 87798 Yes 2 mL Detected/Not Detected
  • Place sterile swab placed in 2 mL sterile saline, M4, or viral transport media in a sterile, screw top tube.
  • Do not use calcium alginate swab or wood shafted swab.
  • Can be shipped at ambient or frozen temperature Monday through Friday.
  • Specimens shipped at ambient temperature must be received within 96 hrs. of collection.
plasma 9501 87799 Yes 2 mL (min. 0.5 mL) 278 copies/mL to 1x108 copies/mL
  • Collect 4-5 mL whole blood in EDTA or ACD tube.
  • Centrifuge and transfer 2 mL plasma to sterile, screw top tube.
  • Can be shipped at ambient or frozen temperature Monday through Friday.
  • Specimens shipped at ambient temperature must be received within 96 hrs. of collection.
serum 9510 87799 Yes 2 mL (min. 0.5 mL) 278 copies/mL to 1x108 copies/mL
  • Collect 4-5 mL whole blood in red top tube.
  • Centrifuge and transfer 2 mL serum to sterile, screw top tube.
  • Can be shipped at ambient or frozen temperature Monday through Friday.
  • Specimens shipped at ambient temperature must be received within 96 hrs. of collection.
skin swab 9529 87798 Yes 2 mL Detected/Not Detected
  • Place sterile swab placed in 2 mL sterile saline, M4, or viral transport media in a sterile, screw top tube.
  • Do not use calcium alginate swab or wood shafted swab.
  • Can be shipped at ambient or frozen temperature Monday through Friday.
  • Specimens shipped at ambient temperature must be received within 96 hrs. of collection.
tissue [Qual] 9506 87798 Yes 5 mg fresh tissue (approximately ½ of a pencil eraser size) Detected/Not Detected
  • Place fresh tissue in a sterile, screw top container.
  • The preferred handling is to not add water, saline or other fluid media to the tissue container; however, fluid media filled containers will be accepted for qualitative results.
  • Store frozen and ship on dry ice for overnight delivery.
  • Formalin fixed, paraffin embedded tissue will not be accepted.
tissue [Quant] 9505 87799 Yes 5 mg fresh tissue (approximately ½ of a pencil eraser size) 23 copies/mg to 1x107 copies/mg
  • Place fresh tissue in a sterile, screw top container.
  • Do not add water, saline or other fluid media to container.
  • Store frozen and ship on dry ice for overnight delivery.
  • Formalin fixed, paraffin embedded tissue will not be accepted.
trach asp 9519 87799 Yes 2 mL (min. 0.5 mL) 221 copies/mL to 1x108 copies/mL
  • Collect in a sterile, screw top tube.
  • Can be shipped at ambient or frozen temperature Monday through Friday.
  • Specimens shipped at ambient temperature must be received within 96 hrs. of collection.
trach wash 9548 87799 Yes 2 mL (min. 0.5 mL) 221 copies/mL to 1x108 copies/mL
  • Collect in a sterile, screw top tube.
  • Can be shipped at ambient or frozen temperature Monday through Friday.
  • Specimens shipped at ambient temperature must be received within 96 hrs. of collection.
vitreous fluid 9514 87799 Yes 1 mL (min. 0.05 mL) 3,160 copies/mL to 1x108 copies/mL
  • Transfer collected amount to sterile, screw top tube for shipment.
  • Do not add water, saline or other fluid media to container.
  • Do not ship specimen in syringe.
  • Store frozen and ship on dry ice for overnight delivery.
Shipping

Ship Monday through Friday. Friday shipments must be labeled for Saturday delivery. All specimens must be labeled with patient's name and collection date. A Viracor Eurofins test requisition form must accompany each specimen. Multiple tests can be run on one specimen. Ship specimens FedEx Priority Overnight® to: Viracor Eurofins, 1001 NW Technology Dr, Lee's Summit, MO 64086

Causes for Rejection

Whole blood frozen, specimens received in trap containers, specimens beyond their acceptable length of time from collection as listed in the specimen handling, or specimen types other than those listed.

Specimens are approved for testing in New York only when indicated in the Specimen Information field above.

The CPT codes provided are based on Viracor Eurofins' interpretation of the American Medical Association's Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and are provided for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Questions regarding coding should be addressed to your local Medicare carrier. Viracor Eurofins assumes no responsibility for billing errors due to reliance on the CPT codes illustrated in this material.

PCR tests are performed pursuant to a license agreement with Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.

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