Conjunctival swab in viral transport medium.
Keep specimen at 4C
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.
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.
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.
If positive, results are reported as varicella-zoster virus DNA detected.
Negative or no varicella-zoster virus DNA detected
Clinical Utility: Test can be used on children and adults with primary (chicken pox or varicella) or recurrent herpes zoster (shingles) infections. Teens & adults are at risk for more severe disease with pneumonia following chicken pox. Immunocompromised hosts and newborns are at risk for life-threatening pneumonia, encephalitis, hepatitis, and progressive-disseminated varicella. The elderly and immunocompromised are at risk for recurrent herpes zoster.