Near elimination of varicella deaths in the US after implementation of the vaccination program.
ABSTRACT Varicella has been preventable by vaccination in the United States since 1995. Previous studies reported a 66% decline in mortality rate during the first 6 years of the program. Since then, vaccination coverage has increased substantially. We updated the analysis of US varicella mortality for 2002-2007 and assessed the impact of the first 12 years of the US varicella vaccination program on varicella deaths.
National data on deaths for which varicella was listed as an underlying or contributing cause were obtained from the Mortality Multiple Cause-of-Death records from the US National Center for Health Statistics. We calculated the age-adjusted and age-specific mortality rates for 2002-2007 and trends since the prevaccine years.
During the 12 years of the mostly 1-dose US varicella vaccination program, the annual average mortality rate for varicella listed as the underlying cause declined 88%, from 0.41 per million population in 1990-1994 to 0.05 per million population in 2005-2007. The decline occurred in all age groups, and there was an extremely high reduction among children and adolescents younger than 20 years (97%) and among subjects younger than 50 years overall (96%). In the last 6 years analyzed (2002-2007), a total of 3 deaths per age range were reported among children aged 1 to 4 and 5 to 9 years, compared with an annual average of 13 and 16 deaths, respectively, during the prevaccine years.
The impressive decline in varicella deaths can be directly attributed to successful implementation of the 1-dose vaccination program. With the current 2-dose program, there is potential that these most severe outcomes of a vaccine-preventable disease could be eliminated.
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ABSTRACT: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is the most common opportunistic infection in immunosuppressed individuals, such as transplant recipients or people living with HIV/AIDS, and congenital CMV is the leading viral cause of developmental disabilities in infants. Due to the highly species-specific nature of CMV, animal models that closely recapitulate human CMV (HCMV) are of growing importance for vaccine development. Here we present the genomic sequence of a novel nonhuman primate CMV from cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis; CyCMV). CyCMV (Ottawa strain) was isolated from the urine of a healthy, captive-bred, 4-year-old cynomolgus macaque of Philippine origin, and the viral genome was sequenced using next-generation Illumina sequencing to an average of 516-fold coverage. The CyCMV genome is 218,041 bp in length, with 49.5% G+C content and 84% protein-coding density. We have identified 262 putative open reading frames (ORFs) with an average coding length of 789 bp. The genomic organization of CyCMV is largely colinear with that of rhesus macaque CMV (RhCMV). Of the 262 CyCMV ORFs, 137 are homologous to HCMV genes, 243 are homologous to RhCMV 68.1, and 200 are homologous to RhCMV 180.92. CyCMV encodes four ORFs that are not present in RhCMV strain 68.1 or 180.92 but have homologies with HCMV (UL30, UL74A, UL126, and UL146). Similar to HCMV, CyCMV does not produce the RhCMV-specific viral homologue of cyclooxygenase-2. This newly characterized CMV may provide a novel model in which to study CMV biology and HCMV vaccine development.Journal of Virology 12/2011; 85(24):12995-3009. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV) results in varicella (more commonly known as chickenpox) after which VZV establishes latency in sensory ganglia. VZV can reactivate to cause herpes zoster (shingles), a debilitating disease that affects one million individuals in the US alone annually. Current vaccines against varicella (Varivax) and herpes zoster (Zostavax) are not 100% efficacious. Specifically, studies have shown that 1 dose of varivax can lead to breakthrough varicella, albeit rarely, in children and a 2-dose regimen is now recommended. Similarly, although Zostavax results in a 50% reduction in HZ cases, a significant number of recipients remain at risk. To design more efficacious vaccines, we need a better understanding of the immune response to VZV. Clinical observations suggest that T cell immunity plays a more critical role in the protection against VZV primary infection and reactivation. However, no studies to date have directly tested this hypothesis due to the scarcity of animal models that recapitulate the immune response to VZV. We have recently shown that SVV infection of rhesus macaques models the hallmarks of primary VZV infection in children. In this study, we used this model to experimentally determine the role of CD4, CD8 and B cell responses in the resolution of primary SVV infection in unvaccinated animals. Data presented in this manuscript show that while CD20 depletion leads to a significant delay and decrease in the antibody response to SVV, loss of B cells does not alter the severity of varicella or the kinetics/magnitude of the T cell response. Loss of CD8 T cells resulted in slightly higher viral loads and prolonged viremia. In contrast, CD4 depletion led to higher viral loads, prolonged viremia and disseminated varicella. CD4 depleted animals also had delayed and reduced antibody and CD8 T cell responses. These results are similar to clinical observations that children with agammaglobulinemia have uncomplicated varicella whereas children with T cell deficiencies are at increased risk of progressive varicella with significant complications. Moreover, our studies indicate that CD4 T cell responses to SVV play a more critical role than antibody or CD8 T cell responses in the control of primary SVV infection and suggest that one potential mechanism for enhancing the efficacy of VZV vaccines is by eliciting robust CD4 T cell responses.PLoS Pathogens 11/2011; 7(11):e1002367. · 8.14 Impact Factor