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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2014 Mar;12(3):197-210. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3215. Epub 2014 Feb 10.

Molecular mechanisms of varicella zoster virus pathogenesis.

Author information

1
Departments of Pediatrics and of Microbiology & Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Abstract

Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is the causative agent of varicella (chickenpox) and zoster (shingles). Investigating VZV pathogenesis is challenging as VZV is a human-specific virus and infection does not occur, or is highly restricted, in other species. However, the use of human tissue xenografts in mice with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) enables the analysis of VZV infection in differentiated human cells in their typical tissue microenvironment. Xenografts of human skin, dorsal root ganglia or foetal thymus that contains T cells can be infected with mutant viruses or in the presence of inhibitors of viral or cellular functions to assess the molecular mechanisms of VZV-host interactions. In this Review, we discuss how these models have improved our understanding of VZV pathogenesis.

PMID:
24509782
PMCID:
PMC4066823
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro3215
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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