Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) Antibodies Blood Test, IgG
Order this Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV) Antibodies, IgG test to detect antibodies in the blood to determine whether you have developed an immunity to VZV and evaluate your risk of reactivating a VZV infection. VZV, a member of the herpes virus family, causes chickenpox and shingles. While most people previously infected with chickenpox will develop antibodies, making them immune to the disease for the remainder of their lives, the virus remains inactive in the nerve tissue. As a result of a weakened immune system, the virus may reactivate later in life, causing shingles. Unlike chickenpox, you can be infected with shingles more than once, though it is rare.
Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease that causes red, itchy sores (pox) all over the body. It used to be a prevalent childhood disease, infecting nearly all children in the United States. However, since the development of the chickenpox vaccine in 1995, cases have continued to decline. Chickenpox usually causes mild symptoms in healthy children. In comparison, it can be severe for adults, pregnant women and newborns, and people with weakened immune systems (i.e., those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and transplant patients).
Shingles is a disease that targets people previously infected with chickenpox. This disease may cause a painful, burning rash on one area of the body, or it may spread to various body parts. Medical experts have estimated that nearly one-third of Americans will get shingles at some point in their lifetime, most often after age 50. The average recovery time for shingles is three to five weeks, but it sometimes causes long-term pain and other health problems.
Other signs or symptoms associated with chickenpox and shingles include:
- Sore throat
Individuals interested in determining their immunity to the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) or risk of reactivating a VZV infection may order this test. Individuals should also note that this test cannot distinguish between a past or current infection; therefore, a positive result may indicate active infection and not immunity. However, suppose an active infection is not suspected based on the individual’s history, clinical signs, and other laboratory results. In that case, a positive IgG result is likely due to past infection, and the individual is assumed to be immune to VZV. Follow up with your doctor or healthcare provider if you have significant concerns or questions about your result.
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