Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV) is the etiological agent of varicella and herpes zoster. Varicella (chicken pox) is a mild, highly infectious disease, which occurs in hosts (usually children) without immunity. Zoster (shingles) is the recurrent form of the disease, occurring in adults previously infected with VZV. Infection during pregnancy can cause disease or malformation of the foetus. If it occurs at the end of pregnancy it may lead to the death of the neonate. Laboratory diagnosis is needed to establish the immune status of the patient, especially immunocompromised individuals and pregnant women.
VZV IgG assays are used with serum for diagnostic assessment of prior infection with VZV. VZV IgM assay is indicated for the detection of early or recent infection.