Varicella Zoster Antibodies, IgG testing is useful for the determination of an individual’s immune status and/or to aid in the diagnosis of varicella zoster infection. A positive VZV IgG result indicates the presence of antibodies to varicella zoster virus. The test cannot distinguish between past infection and current infection though, so a positive result could indicate active infection and not immunity. If active infection is not suspected based on the patient’s history, clinical presentation, and other laboratory results, then a positive IgG result is likely due to past infection. In such a case, the patient is presumed to be immune to varicella zoster virus.
The most common condition which results from infection with Varicella is Chickenpox. Infection causes an outbreak of an itchy rash and the development of small fluid filled blisters. During the primary infection, chickenpox is highly contagious and spread through coughing, sneezing or touching fluid from the blisters. Most people recover without treatment and the virus remains latent in their system. There is a possibility for the virus to reactivate later in life, especially in those with weakened immune systems. This can cause shingles, a condition characterized by a painful burning or itching sensation on one or more areas of the body. Shingles typically clears up after a few weeks as the virus becomes latent again.
The Varicella IgG Antibody Titer is usually ordered when someone is required to show proof of immune status for work or school. It may also be done for organ transplant patients or pregnant women.