Cutaneous herpes zoster lesion labeled with VZV. Alkaline phosphatase (AP) detection and fast red (FR) chromogen.
Cutaneous herpes zoster lesion labeled with VZV. Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) detection and DAB chromogen.
Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is a DNA virus that is closely related to herpes simplex virus (HSV) and is one of eight herpes virus types that commonly infect humans. Symptoms of both viruses mimic each other with blistering cutaneous blisters. VZV is the causative agent of chickenpox (varicella) and shingles (herpes zoster). Following a childhood outbreak of chickenpox, VZV remains dormant in nerves and can re-emerge later in life as shingles. Severe complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis can develop in adults who were not exposed to chickenpox as children, but contract VZV later in life.
IHC is the gold standard for diagnosing the disease and both HSV and VZV antibodies are usually run. The most common specimen submitted is a punch biopsy of skin. This mouse IgG monoclonal antibody, consisting of a cocktail of clones SG1-1, SG1-4, NCP1, and 1E-62, requires enzyme-induced epitope retrieval (EIER) or heat-induced epitope retrieval (HIER) pretreatment of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue sections to fully demonstrate VZV in tissue sections.