Time Sensitive

Ordering Recommendation

Rapid diagnostic test with reflex to culture. May help to determine whether a lesion is due to varicella-zoster virus (VZV) or herpes simplex virus (HSV).

New York DOH Approval Status

This test is not New York state approved. Alternative testing that is New York approved is available. See Ordering Recommendations.

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation

Collect vesicle specimen during first 3 days of rash.


Vesicle fluid or swab, tissue, or skin scrapings. Swab should be rolled in base of fresh vesicle to obtain cells.

Specimen Preparation

Immediately transfer specimen to viral transport media (ARUP Supply #12884) and refrigerate (extremely temperature sensitive). Available online through eSupply using ARUP Connect™ or contact ARUP Client Services at 800-522-2787.

Storage/Transport Temperature


Unacceptable Conditions

Bone marrow, CSF, or whole blood. Calcium alginate, eSwab, dry or wood swabs.


Specimen source preferred.


Ambient: Unacceptable; Refrigerated: 48 hours; Frozen: Unacceptable


Direct Fluorescent Antibody (DFA) Stain/Cell Culture




Within 24 hours

Reference Interval


Interpretive Data

Compliance Category

Modified FDA


If DFA results are negative or inadequate, then VZV and HSV cultures will be added. Additional charges apply.

Sensitivity of DFA methodology is dependent upon adequacy of the specimen. If the specimen contains fewer than 20 cells, then DFA results will be reported as "inadequate."

Hotline History


CPT Codes

87290; 87274; 87273; if reflexed, add 87252; 87254; 87255


Component Test Code* Component Chart Name LOINC
0060302 Varicella-Zoster Virus, DFA with Reflex 5882-6
0060303 Herpes Simplex Virus 1, DFA 5846-1
0060304 Herpes Simplex Virus 2, DFA 5849-5
0060336 VZV HSVFAC Source 31208-2
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.


  • Herpes Culture
  • Herpes Simplex Viral Culture
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Antigen Detection, DFA.
  • Herpes Zoster
  • Herpes Zoster Antigen Detection & Culture
  • Herpes Zoster Antigen Detection and Culture
  • HSV 1 and HSV 2
  • Varicella Zoster Virus
  • Varicella Zoster Virus Antigen Detection
  • VZV
  • VZV Antigen Detection and Culture
Varicella-Zoster Virus and Herpes Simplex Virus DFA with Reflex to Varicella-Zoster Virus Culture and Herpes Simplex Virus Culture