Varicella-zoster virus infection in children with underlying human immunodeficiency virus infection

A. A. Gershon, N. Mervish, P. LaRussa, S. Steinberg, Hwa Lo Shaw Hwa Lo, D. Hodes, S. Fikrig, V. Bonagura, S. Bakshi

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102 Scopus citations


This article describes a prospective longitudinal study of varicella- zoster virus (VZV) infections in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children, designed to determine their natural history of VZV infection and possible effects of VZV on the progression of HIV infection. Varicella was usually not a serious acute problem, and it did not seem to precede clinical deterioration. The rate of zoster was high: 70% in children with low levels of CD4+ lymphocytes at the time of development of varicella. It is predicted that immunization with live attenuated varicella vaccine is unlikely to be deleterious to HIV-infected children. Moreover, if they are immunized when they still have relatively normal levels of CD4+ lymphocytes, they may have a lower rate of reactivation of VZV than if they were allowed to develop natural varicella when their CD4+ cell counts have fallen to low levels as a result of progressive HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1496-1500
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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