Varicella Zoster Virus-Specific Immune Responses to a Herpes Zoster Vaccine in Elderly Recipients With Major Depression and the Impact of Antidepressant Medications

Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience, University of California, Los Angeles.
Clinical Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 8.89). 02/2013; 56(8). DOI: 10.1093/cid/cis1208
Source: PubMed


The Depression Substudy of the Shingles Prevention Study (SPS) was designed to evaluate the association between major depression and immune responses to a high-titer live attenuated varicella zoster virus (VZV) vaccine (zoster vaccine), which boosts cell-mediated immunity (CMI) to VZV and decreases the incidence and severity of herpes zoster (HZ). The Depression Substudy was a 2-year longitudinal cohort study in 92 community-dwelling adults≥60 years of age who were enrolled in the SPS, a large, double-blind, placebo-controlled Veterans Affairs Cooperative zoster vaccine efficacy study.

Forty subjects with major depressive disorder, stratified by use of antidepressant medications, and 52 age- and sex-matched controls with no history of depression or other mental illness had their VZV-CMI measured prior to vaccination with zoster vaccine or placebo and at 6 weeks, 1 year, and 2 years postvaccination.

Depressed subjects who were not treated with antidepressant medications had lower levels of VZV-CMI following administration of zoster vaccine than nondepressed controls or depressed subjects receiving antidepressants even when antidepressant medications failed to alter depressive symptom severity (P<.005). Similar results were obtained taking into account the time-varying status of depression and use of antidepressant medications, as well as changes in depressive symptoms, during the postvaccination period.

Depressed patients have diminished VZV-CMI responses to zoster vaccine, and treatment with antidepressant medication is associated with normalization of these responses. Because higher levels of VZV-CMI correlate with lower risk and severity of HZ, untreated depression may increase the risk and severity of HZ and reduce the efficacy of zoster vaccine.

Download full-text


Available from: Michael R Irwin,
41 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The live, attenuated shingles (herpes zoster) vaccine Zostavax(®) is approved in the EU for use in the prevention of herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia in adults aged ≥50 years. In adults aged ≥60 years, zoster vaccine reduced the burden of illness associated with herpes zoster, with reductions in the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia and herpes zoster, according to the results of the Shingles Prevention Study. Results of subsequent Short- and Long-Term Persistence Substudies indicate that the efficacy of zoster vaccine is maintained in the longer term, albeit with a gradual decline over time. In the Zostavax Efficacy and Safety Trial, zoster vaccine reduced the incidence of herpes zoster in adults aged 50-59 years. Findings of these studies are supported by the results of large, retrospective, cohort studies. Zoster vaccine was generally well tolerated, with injection-site adverse events being the most commonly reported adverse events. In conclusion, zoster vaccine provides an important opportunity to reduce the burden of illness associated with herpes zoster by reducing the incidence of herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia.
    Drugs 07/2013; 73(11). DOI:10.1007/s40265-013-0088-1 · 4.34 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Herpes zoster (Hz), which generally presents as a localized, painful cutaneous eruption, is a common clinical problem, particularly among adults ≥ 50 years of age and immunocompromised patients. The diagnosis of Hz is mainly made clinically, except in patients with atypical manifestations or certain complications, such as central nervous system involvement, in which laboratory virologic testing is required. In addition to having a higher mortality rate, immunocompromised individuals have atypical and severe clinical findings and are at greater risk for complications and recurrence of Hz. Treatment of Hz includes the use of antiviral agents, analgesics for control of acute zoster pain, good skin care for healing, and prevention of secondary bacterial infection. Antiviral agents, preferably valacyclovir or famciclovir, should be started within 72 hours of onset to reduce the severity of the infection, the duration of the eruptive phase, and the intensity of acute pain. Herpes zoster has been associated with several complications, of which post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) is the most common and debilitating. Varicella-zoster virus vaccine and early treatment with either famciclovir or valacyclovir are the only measures proven to prevent PHN. The options for treating PHN include topical agents, such as lidocaine patches, and systemic agents, such as the anticonvulsants gabapentin and pregabalin. Measures for preventing Hz include infection control through routine hand hygiene and appropriate use of isolation precautions and personal protective equipment; immunoglobulins, such as the varicella-zoster virus immunoglobulin and vaccine; and antiviral agents. The zoster vaccine has been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of Hz and PHN. The vaccine is recommended for all individuals aged ≥ 60 years who have no contraindications, including individuals who report a previous episode of Hz.
    Postgraduate Medicine 09/2013; 125(5):78-91. DOI:10.3810/pgm.2013.09.2703 · 1.70 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to examine the associations between the temporal and severity characteristics of sleep disturbance and subsequent depression in community-dwelling older adults. A prospective cohort study with assessment of sleep disturbance and depression at baseline and across 2 years of follow-up. Three urban communities in the United States. Community-dwelling older adults in whom prior depression (n = 145), current depression (n = 68), or never mentally ill (n = 206) were diagnosed at the baseline assessment. Major depression at year 2, defined by the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Among patients with either a depression history or current depression at baseline, persistent sleep disturbance throughout year 1 was associated with persistent or recurrent depression at year 2, after adjustment for group status, antidepressant and hypnotic sedative use, severity of depressive symptoms, chronic medical burden, and sociodemographic variables (adjusted odds ratio = 5.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.16 to 23.29). Among those who were not depressed at year 1, persistent sleep disturbance throughout year 1 predicted depression recurrence during year 2 (adjusted hazards ratio = 16.05, CI = 1.21 to 213.06), independent of the severity of sleep disturbance. None of the older adults who were never mentally ill developed a depression. Persistent sleep disturbance during a year-long period is associated with depression the following year. Among older adults with prior depression, identification of those with persistent sleep disturbance may optimize the efficacy of sleep related interventions to improve depression remission and/or prevent late-life depression. Lee E; Cho HJ; Olmstead R; Levin MJ; Oxman MN; Irwin MR. Persistent sleep disturbance: a risk factor for persistent or recurrent depression in community-dwelling older adults. SLEEP 2013;36(11):1685-1691.
    Sleep 11/2013; 36(11):1685-91. DOI:10.5665/sleep.3128 · 4.59 Impact Factor
Show more