The significance of chickenpox and shingles test results are explained below:
- Presence of both IgG and IgM: In a symptomatic individual, this indicates that either the person is infected with chickenpox for the first time, or the individual has shingles as a result of VZV infection being reactivated.
- Presence of IgM: It is an indication that the infection is very recent. In newborns, it is an indication that the child has congenital VZV infection.
Detection of VZV virus through viral cultures, viral DNA analysis, or direct fluorescent antibody tests, confirms the presence of infection.
However, a negative test result may either be due to the absence of or the presence of low numbers, of the viral particles in the sample.
Thus, a negative test result may not indicate an absence of infection. Care must be taken when interpreting the results of VZV testing. The healthcare practitioner evaluates the results in conjunction with clinical findings. It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between a latent and active VZV infection.
This is possible for several reasons, including:
- A healthy person who has been infected with VZV will continue to harbor the virus after the symptoms disappear. The VZV can reactivate intermittently, shedding small amounts of virus into body fluids but not causing symptoms.
- The virus may not be present in sufficient number in the particular fluid or tissue tested to be detected.
Keyword: chickenpox and shingles