Persistence of Varicella Zoster Virus DNA in Saliva After Herpes Zoster

Departments of Neurology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, USA.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 6). 09/2011; 204(6):820-4. DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jir425
Source: PubMed


(See the editorial commentary by Gershon, on pages 815–6.)

Analysis of saliva samples from individuals aged ≥60 years who had a history of zoster (group 1), zoster and postherpetic
neuralgia (PHN; group 2), or no history of zoster (group 3) revealed varicella zoster virus (VZV) DNA in saliva samples from
11 of 17 individuals in group 1, 10 of 15 individuals in group 2, and 2 of 17 individuals in group 3. The frequency of VZV
DNA detection was significantly higher (P = .001) in saliva of subjects with a history of zoster, with or without PHN (21 [67%] of 32 subjects in groups 1 and 2),
than in saliva of age-matched subjects with no zoster history (2 [12%] of 17 subjects in group 3). Thus, persistence of VZV
DNA in saliva is the outcome of zoster, independent of PHN. Because VZV infection can produce neurological and ocular disease
without zoster rash, future studies are needed to establish whether VZV DNA can be detected in the saliva of such patients.

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    • "on , VZV is assumed to remain latent , but capable of reactivation . The frequencies of VZV reactivation used in the parameter sets were informed by observed VZV reactivation frequencies in random samples from healthy individuals ( 2% in blood [ Schünemann et al . , 1997 ] ; 0 out of 112 saliva samples [ Mehta et al . , 2003 ] ; 2 . 5% in saliva [ Nagel et al . , 2011 ] ) , immunosuppressed patients ( 8 . 1% from various sites [ Engelmann et al . , 2008 ] ) , individuals with malignancies ( 7 . 5% in blood [ Malavige et al . , 2010 ] ) and HIV patients ( 9% in saliva [ van Velzen et al . , 2013 ] ; 16% in cerebrospinal fluid [ Birlea et al . , 2011 ] ) . The consequence of reactivation can either be "
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    • "Furthermore, recent studies have clearly indicated that most patients with HZ have viremia which may persist for months, while VZV DNA viral load is associated with longer duration of symptoms and risk factors for PHN [Quinlivan et al. 2007, 2011]. Moreover, VZV DNA has been detected in the saliva of 100%, 52% and 59% of patients with acute HZ, Ramsey Hunt syndrome and zoster sine herpete, respectively [Furuta et al. 2001; Nagel et al. 2011]. "
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