Detection of Varicella-Zoster Virus DNA by Field-Inversion Gel Electrophoresis

Yujiro Arao, Mariko Yoshida, Zeng Liang Bai, Yoshifumi Kori, Akihiro Naicatsuicasa, Yoji Takei, Katsuya Aoji, Masao Yamada, Fumio Uno, Kaoru Miyoshi, Nii Shiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A new method for detection of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) DNA using field-inversion gel electrophoresis (FIGE) was devised. VZV-genomic DNA could. be differentiated from the host cell DNA of human embryonic lung (HEL) fibroblasts infected with VZV under electrophoretic conditions allowing resolution of linear and double-stranded DNAs in the 49–230 kilobase pairs (Kb) range. The detection of VZV-genomic DNA from infected HEL cells was successful regardless of whether the VZV was a laboratory strain, live vaccine strain, or fresh isolate. Under the same electrophoretic conditions, DNA of VZV-infected HEL cells could be clearly differentiated from DNA obtained from HEL cells infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), type 2 (HSV-2), or human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Furthermore, VZV genomic DNA could be detected from as small a sample as 1.9 x 104 VZV-infected HEL cells. Finally, we could detect VZV genomic DNA from 10 samples of vesicle tissue (blister lids, each about 1–4 mm2) and one sample of vesicle fluid (about 5 u1) obtained from patients diagnosed as having herpes-zoster. The results of this study indicate that FIGE is a simple and promising method for the detection of VZV from clinical materials as well as infected in vitro cultured cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-282
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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