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  • Varicella (Chickenpox)
  • Scheduling Vaccines

What is the appropriate lab test to use to determine whether there has been previous chickenpox disease?

Commercially available laboratory tests for varicella antibody are usually based on a technique called EIA (enzyme immunoassay). Though these tests are sufficiently sensitive to detect antibody resulting from varicella zoster virus infection, they are generally not sensitive enough to detect vaccine-induced antibody. The more sensitive assays needed to detect vaccine-induced antibody are not widely available. This is why CDC does not recommend antibody testing after varicella vaccination.

Last reviewed: May 16, 2023

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