Welcome to the Exeter Clinical Laboratory International website
NHS logo

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

Special Instructions

NB – Enterovirus are not routinely tested for – if you are considering this (e.g. hand, foot + mouth), please request specifically.


Performed at RD&E

Turnaround time

Up to 7 days

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
University of Exeter logo
UKAS Medical logo


Royal Devon University Healthcare logo