The Varicella titer (Chickenpox titer) is a blood test that measures the Varicella IgG antibody level.
Varicella (Chicken Pox) Titer FAQ
What is a Varicella (chickenpox) titer?
Why might I already be immune to Varicella?
Who gets the Varicella titer?
What type of lab results will I receive?
What does a positive result mean?
What does a negative result mean?
What type of specimen will I submit?
Do I need to fast to take this test?
How long does it take to get test results?
Accesa Labs does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All users should consult with a medical provider for specific health concerns.
More About the Chickenpox Blood Test
The varicella titer, also known as a VZV blood titer, chicken pox test and varicella test, measures varicella IgG antibody levels to check for immunity.
Varicella is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), a member of the herpesvirus group, and is highly contagious. Sometimes known as chicken pox, the infection spreads through contact with the droplets of someone who already has the varicella infection. If one gets infected with VZV, symptoms will typically appear within one week if they are not immune.
Initial symptoms of a varicella infection are similar to the influenza and include fatigue, headaches and fevers. After that, varicella classically produces a rash with itch blisters that spread throughout the body. Eventually, the blisters will scab over and, assuming no complications, the symptoms will resolve in one to two weeks. While most people have a fairly standard recovery, certain populations (e.g. elderly, very young, immunocompromised) can have other complications from the chickenpox. Complications like pneumonia, skin infections and meningitis can be life-threatening. While there is no cure for a varicella infection, calamine lotion is recommended for symptomatic relief and over-the-counter medications are sometimes used for reducing other symptoms like the fever. There is also a role for antiviral medications like acyclovir in certain cases to reduce the length of symptoms related to a varicella infection.
The varicella titer itself is, simply put, a blood test that check whether someone is considered immune to the chickenpox or not. Varicella immunity comes from having antibodies in your blood produced by your immune system that will fight off a varicella virus if you happen to be exposed to it. In most cases, people who need to demonstrate immunity through a Varicella titer will be studying or working in a healthcare setting. In this type of setting, there is an increased risk of being exposed to someone who has an active form of the varicella-zoster virus in their body (i.e. someone with the chickenpox). Schools and healthcare facilities are often required to make sure that anyone stepping into a healthcare setting has demonstrated immunity to varicella ahead of time through the blood test in the event of an inadvertent exposure.
The actual Varicella antibody measured to check for immunity is the Varicella IgG, or Immunoglobulin G, antibody level. Typically, a Varicella IgG titer level greater than or equal to 1.10 means that one is immune to Varicella. Interpreting one's varicella test results is not overly complicated. For example, on the varicella sample results link provided above, the varicella IgG antibody level resulted at 2.13. When compared against the ranges provided in the explanation of results below that, the result falls into the > or = 1.10 range which is Positive - VZV IgG Antibody detected. Typically, if someone is getting tested for screening purposes in the absence of symptoms, this will usually mean that the lab results are consistent with varicella immunity. If the results were < or = 0.90, it would imply a negative result which means no immunity is present and revaccination with the varicella vaccine would be recommended. Generally, an equivocal chickenpox test result (0.91 - 1.09) is interpreted as negative although it depends on who is asking for the varicella result. In this instance, most people go ahead and get revaccinated with the varicella vaccine although some people might consider redoing the test to confirm their actual varicella IgG antibody levels.
Another thing to note about this particular varicella titer test is that the results are quantitative. In other words, the varicella antibody result reported is a number as opposed to just saying positive (reactive) or negative (nonreactive). Most people, schools and employers want a quantitative varicella titer when asking for proof of chickenpox immunity. There are qualitative varicella blood tests that exist out there but they are not generally recommended for most people given that the quantitative test provides more information and is not readily accessible through online ordering.
The varicella vaccine is a weakened live version of the actual varicella-zoster virus. The varicella vaccine is given as part of routine vaccine schedules in the US and is thought to reduce the symptoms and complications from a chickenpox infection by as much as 90 percent. The vaccine gives the recipient a very mild form of the chickenpox (usually without symptoms) and this serves as a way to expose the immune system to the infection. From this mild vaccine-induced illness, the immune system can develop and store a memory of the varicella-zoster virus and, if exposed in the future, can mount a powerful antibody response to protect the body.
Although considered a lesser infection in the past, the symptoms of chickenpox can be significant. Classic symptoms are blisters filled with fluid that cover the body in addition to fatigue, nausea, and fevers. After one week, blisters from the chicken pox form scabs and eventually heal. Our chickenpox blood test can be helpful in identifying a current or past infection.
While chickenpox infections have decreased in the United States, likely due to routine vaccination, there are still large numbers of cases worldwide. In 2015, 6,400 deaths occurred from the chickenpox.
At Accesa Labs, we work with lab locations nationwide to offer the Varicella titer test (chickenpox titer). The labs that offer the chicken pox test are the same labs used by licensed medical providers throughout the US. We make the process of getting a varicella titer near you simple and hassle-free. The affordable cost of our varicella test, all-inclusive pricing and our strong guarantee to our customers are important considerations in deciding where to get tested. We also enable people to order other common human titer tests for personal or occupational requirements.
Helpful Results Overview
Here is how to interpret varicella test results:
We hope you found this chickenpox lab test report helpful.
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