Measurement of antibodies against the chickenpox virus are used to diagnose acute viral disease as well as to test immunity to the virus.
Chickenpox / Herpes zoster virus (Varicella Virus, Herpes Zoster Virus, VZV), also known as Human Herpes Virus 3 (HHV 3), is the causative agent of chickenpox and shingles, which are chronic limited viral infections that cause skin damage or vesicles. The mode of transmission is either direct from patient to patient (airborne transmission of contaminated respiratory secretions or vesicle fluid) or indirectly (through contact with contaminated secretions in various objects). The virus multiplies in the respiratory tract and then spreads through the bloodstream to the skin and internal organs. Following childhood chickenpox, the latent virus may reactivate and cause shingles in the elderly.
Chickenpox and shingles are transmitted for up to 6 days after the appearance of skin lesions. Immunosuppressed patients may transmit the virus for a longer period. For patients exposed to chickenpox / shingles, administration of human immunoglobulin within 4 days may reduce or prevent symptoms of the disease. As maternal antibody protection lasts for only approximately 1 year after birth, the chickenpox vaccine is recommended to be given between the ages of 12 and 18 months.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.