In the era of universal varicella vaccination, diagnosis of varicella is challenging, especially for breakthrough cases. We sought to clarify the reliability of direct varicella-zoster virus (VZV) loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and DermaQuick® VZV using the immunochromatography technique as rapid diagnostic tests for varicella. In addition, the usefulness of saliva as a sample type for direct LAMP was investigated. Among the 46 enrolled patients with suspected VZV infection, 31 patients (67.3%) were positive for the nucleic acid test based on real-time PCR from skin swab samples. Direct LAMP of skin swabs was positive in 29 (63.0%) of 46 patients. DermaQuick® VZV was positive in 25 (54.3%) of 46 patients. VZV DNA was detected in only 48.4% of oral swabs with the direct LAMP method. With real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as the standard for diagnosing varicella, the sensitivity and specificity of DermaQuick® VZV were 80.7% and 100%, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of direct LAMP from skin swabs were 93.6% and 100%, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of real-time PCR for DNA extracted from oral swabs were 74.2% and 93.3%, respectively. Thus, oral swab samples are not suitable for breakthrough varicella diagnosis. Although DermaQuick® VZV is considered the most convenient point-of-care test for varicella, its sensitivity and specificity were lower than those of direct VZV LAMP.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases