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Reading: Rapid salive test for varicella zoster virus


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Rapid salive test for varicella zoster virus


Randall J. Cohrs

University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, USA, US
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Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is a ubiquitous human herpesvirus typically causing childhood varicella (chickenpox) at which time a life-long latent infection is established in ganglionic neurons throughout the neuraxis. Reactivation of latent virus, typically in the elderly and immunocompetent usually causes zoster (shingles) but can also result in serious neurologic disease. In cases of vasculopathy, meningoencephalitis and myelitis where VZV is suspected, diagnosis requires detection of virus DNA or antibody in CSF. In collaboration with NASA, VZV DNA was found in saliva of health astronauts suggesting asymptomatic virus reaction due to the stress of spaceflight. This lead to a series of studies indicating virus DNA can be found in saliva of patients with VZV associated neurologic disease. With the goal of eliminating the need for lumbar puncture to diagnose VZV associated neurologic disease; we developed a rapid saliva test for the detection of VZV DNA in saliva that can be used in space as well as on Earth. Herein the test and its potential application will be present.
How to Cite: J. Cohrs, R., (2015). Rapid salive test for varicella zoster virus. New Horizons in Translational Medicine. 2(2), p.65. DOI:
Published on 07 Feb 2015.
Peer Reviewed


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