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Curr Probl Dermatol. 1989;18:152-7.

Reinfection with varicella-zoster virus in immunocompromised patients.

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Department of Haematology and Internal Medicine, Gentofte Hospital, Denmark.


A small epidemic of varicella/atypical generalized zoster among 6 immunocompromised patients and one previously healthy person is described. The 6 immunocompromised patients suffered from lymphoproliferative diseases in terminal stages treated with chemotherapy and reported varicella in their childhood. They developed a generalized maculopapular rash with hemorrhagic bullae and necroses. The infection passed from one patient to another during a 3-month period in the department. They were placed in adjacent rooms and nursed by the same staff. The most specific diagnostic tool was the detection of varicella-zoster virus antigen from vesicles by ELISA technique. The epidemic was supposed to be caused by exogenous reinfection with varicella-zoster virus, and illustrated that generalized zoster may be even so infectious as varicella and that immunocompromised patients should be protected against reinfection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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