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Skin Swab – Viral PCR



Nucleic acid amplification assay (PCR) for the detection of:

  • Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) 1 & 2 DNA
  • Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) DNA


Diagnosis of vesicular skin infection (i.e. Herpes, Chicken Pox, Shingles.)


Skin swab of vesicles

Specimen container

Red topped viral Copan swab (see above)


Green topped MWE Virocult Swab (see below)

How To Request On EPIC

For electronic requesting using EPIC (RDUH ONLY):

Search for: ‘Skin virology PCR‘ or test code ‘LAB9935

Special Instructions

NB – Enterovirus are not routinely tested for – if you are considering this (e.g. hand, foot + mouth), please request specifically.  Please contact the lab to discuss prior to sending.


Performed at RD&E

Turnaround time

Up to 7 days


ELITech ELITe InGenius

Useful Links

For Patients:

Herpes Testing – Lab Tests Online

Chickenpox and Shingles Tests – Lab Tests Online

Genital herpes – NHS

Chickenpox – NHS

Shingles – NHS

Specimen Labelling Procedure
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