CDC National VZV Laboratory
Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) laboratory testing information applies to testing and diagnosis of primary VZV infection (varicella) as well as reactivation (herpes zoster). The National VZV Laboratory can provide several types of VZV-specific testing free-of-charge to state and local public health departments who require confirmatory evidence for VZV infection or confirmation of atypical herpes zoster cases, and to physicians and scientists participating in various epidemiologic and laboratory-based studies.
Specimens may also be submitted for suspected vaccine-related adverse events, including 1) rash occurring 7 to 42 days after vaccination; 2) suspected secondary transmission of the vaccine virus; 3) herpes zoster in a vaccinated person; or 4) any serious adverse event. See Collecting Specimens for Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) Testing.
Providers should contact their health department to coordinate sending specimens to CDC for testing. If there are questions about testing methods, specimen collection, or handling, providers should consult with their state health department or the National VZV Laboratory.
For more information on varicella zoster virus specimen collection, storage, and handling, please contact:
Prior to shipping, please complete 2 required forms and send with specimens. Ship to:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
ATTN: National VZV Lab
1600 Clifton Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: 404-639-0066 or 404-639-2192