Test Directory

Varicella-Zoster Antibody, IgM and IgG (Separate Determinations), Serum

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Updated Test Information:

Test Description
Varicella-Zoster Antibody, IgM and IgG (Separate Determinations), Serum

Chickenpox; Varicella-zoster; Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV); VZV (Varicella-Zoster virus)

Test ID
General Information

Useful for:

  • Laboratory diagnosis of acute and recent infection with varicella-zoster virus (VZV)

  • Determination of immune status of individuals to the VZV

  • Documentation of previous infection with VZV in an individual without a previous record of immunization to VZV

Specimen Type


Specimen Requirements

  • Preferred: Serum Gel (SST)

  • Acceptable: Red Top


  • Refrigerated (preferred): 14 days

  • Frozen: 14 days

Unacceptable Specimen Conditions

  • Gross hemolysis

  • Gross lipemia

  • Heat-inactivated specimen


  • Results from cord blood, neonates, or immunocompromised individuals should be interpreted with caution

  • Testing for IgM-class antibodies to varicella-zoster virus (VZV) should be limited to patients with a clinically compatible disease

  • The performance characteristics with individuals vaccinated with the VZV (OKA strain) have not been established

  • Up to one-third of individuals with primary herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections who have experienced prior VZV infection show a heterotypic antibody response to VZV antigen making a differential diagnosis between VZV and HSV difficult in the absence of clear-cut clinical findings

  • IgG-class antibodies to VZV may be present in serum specimens from individuals who have received blood products within the past several months, but have not been immunized or experienced past infection with this virus

  • Serum specimens drawn early during acute phase of infection or soon after vaccination may be negative for IgM- or IgG-class antibodies to this virus, respectively.


  • VZM: Immunofluorescence Assay (IFA)

  • VZPG: Multiplex Flow Immunoassay (MFI)

Estimated TAT

1-3 days

Testing Schedule


Test Includes

  • VZM: Varicella-Zoster Ab, IgM

  • VZPG: Varicella-Zoster Ab, IgG


14 days

CPT Code(s)

86787 (x2)

Additional Information
Minimum Sample Volume

0.6 mL

Reference Range


Vaccinated: positive (≥ 1.1 AI)
Unvaccinated: negative (≤ 0.8 AI)

Performing Lab


LOINC Code(s)

43588-3, 15410-4, 5403-1