Background: Since patients with breakthrough varicella (BV) have mild symptoms, clinical diagnosis is difficult. In high vaccine coverage area, as BV occurs sporadically, point of care test is required for controlling varicella outbreak. In this study, the reliability of varicella zoster virus (VZV)-loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) was evaluated for the rapid diagnosis of BV. Study design: A total of 328 swab samples collected from patients with suspected varicella were analyzed. For the laboratory diagnosis of varicella, VZV real-time PCR was carried out using DNA extracted from swab samples. Swab samples without DNA extraction were used for VZV-LAMP(direct-LAMP). Results: VZV infection was diagnosed by real-time PCR in 285 cases, including 105 natural varicella cases and 180 BV cases. VZV DNA was detected in 250 (87.8%) of the 285 cases by direct-LAMP. The presence and duration of fever, number of skin eruptions, and VZV DNA load were significantly lower in BV than natural varicella. The sensitivity of direct-LAMP for the diagnosis of varicella and BV was 93.3% and 84.4%, respectively. Conclusions: Direct LAMP was considered to be useful for rapid diagnosis of BV as it has several advantages such as low cost, ease and rapidity, as compared to real time PCR.
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