Varicella zoster infection (not elsewhere classified)

This document contains the case definitions for Varicella zoster infection (not elsewhere classified) which is nationally notifiable within Australia. This definition should be used to determine whether a case should be notified.

Page last updated: 06 March 2018

Surveillance case definition

Version Summary of changes Last reviewed Implementation date
  • Addition of IgG seroconversion as laboratory definitive evidence
2017 1 January 2018
  • Name change
  • Removal of wording ‘from a skin or lesion swab’ from relevant criteria to broaden the types of laboratory specimen that can be tested
2016 1 January 2017

No Change

14 August 2008 14 August 2008
1.0 Initial case definition 2006 2006


Only confirmed cases should be notified.

Confirmed case

A confirmed case requires laboratory definitive evidence, either in the absence of clinical information or where clinical evidence does not meet criteria for varicella-zoster infection (chickenpox) or varicella-zoster infection (shingles).

Laboratory definitive evidence

  1. Isolation of varicella-zoster virus.


  1. Detection of varicella-zoster virus by nucleic acid testing.


  1. Detection of varicella-zoster virus antigen by direct fluorescent antibody testing.


  1. IgG seroconversion or a significant increase in antibody level, such as a fourfold or greater rise in titre to varicella-zoster virus (VZV) EXCEPT if the case has received a VZV-containing vaccine eight days to eight weeks prior to convalescent specimen collection.  (NOTE: paired sera must be tested in parallel).

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