Prevention strategies for herpes zoster and post-herpetic neuralgia
Impairment of varicella zoster virus (VZV)-specific cell-mediated immunity, including impairment due to immunosenescence, is associated with an increased risk of developing herpes zoster (HZ), whereas levels of anti-VZV antibodies do not correlate with HZ risk. This crucial role of VZV-specific cell-mediated immunity suggests that boosting these responses by vaccination will be an effective strategy for reducing the burden of HZ. Other strategies focus on preventing the major complication of HZ--post-herpetic neuralgia. These strategies include pre-emptive treatment with drugs such as tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants and analgesics.
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