TABLE 14.

Detection of varicella-zoster virus DNA in clinical specimens by real-time PCR

ReferenceSpecimen(s)Cell cultureReal-time PCRComments
No. of specimensNo. positive (%)No. of specimensNo. positive (%)Test platform/ gene target
Espy et al. 2000 (117)Dermal25323 (9.1)25344 (17.4)LightCycler/gene 28, DNA polymerase; gene 29, DNA binding proteinReal-time PCR was 91% more sensitive than shell vial cell culture assay for detection of VZV DNA.
Furuta et al. 2001 (134)Saliva (Ramsay Hunt syndrome)2513 (52)ABI Prism/gene 29, DNA binding proteinAnalyzed VZV DNA copy number in saliva samples. VZV load in saliva from patients with Ramsay Hunt syndrome peaked near the day of appearance of zoster.
Saliva (zoster sine herpete)3117 (55)
Aberle et al. 2002 (3)CSF57629 (50)ABI Prism/gene 31, glycoprotein BOverall broad testing for different herpesvirus from CSF has led to an increase in the detection rate of those viruses, especially in relation to VZV-associated CNS disease.
Dworkin et al. 2002 (103)Ocular109 (90)ABI PrismUsed for detection of VZV DNA from infectious posterior uveitis. PCR target not given.
van Doornum et al. 2003 (506)Dermal36617 (4.6)36627 (7.4)ABI Prism/gene 38Real-time PCR was 53.8% more sensitive than cell culture (microtiter plates) for detection of VZV infections.
Wiedmann et al. 2003 (530)CSF, vitreous fluid, dermal, tissue56 (19 CSF, 6 vitreous, 22 dermal swabs, 9 tissue)54 (96%)LightCycler/gene 28, DNA polymeraseReal-time and laboratory-developed nested methods had equal sensitivity for detecting VZV DNA.
Stöcher et al. 2003 (467)CSF307 (23.3)LightCycler/gene 28, DNA polymerasePCR tests were also performed for detection of DNA of CMV, EBV, and HSV-1/2.
O'Neill et al. 2003 (354)Dermal68 (some archived specimens used)29 (42.6)LightCycler/gene 38Real-time nested multiplex assay was equal in sensitivity to nested laboratory-developed conventional PCR.
Tipples et al. 2003 (491)Clinical isolates, Eileen strain, and vaccine strain18 (14 wild type; 4 Oka vaccine strain)LightCycler/gene 38Differentiation of VZV wild-type from vaccine strains was obtained by melting curve analysis of amplified products.
Schmutzhard et al. 2004 (437)Dermal11015 (14)11051 (46)LightCycler/gene 4, transactivator, tegument protein systemReal-time PCR provided 240% increase in detection of VZV infections compared with cell culture.
Campsall et al. 2004 (58)ABI Prism/open reading frame 62Assay distinguishes the vaccine strain of VZV (Oka) from wild-type VZV. The assay was 100% concordant with two standard PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism methods for 136 VZV strains.