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J Infect Dis. 2018 Mar 13;217(7):1055-1059. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jix653.

Varicella-Zoster Virus DNA in Blood After Administration of Herpes Zoster Vaccine.

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Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta and Hope Clinic, Emory Vaccine Center, Decatur, Georgia.
Department of Pathology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora.


We studied the relationship between varicella-zoster virus (VZV) DNAemia and development of VZV-specific immunity after administration of live-attenuated zoster vaccine. VZV-DNAemia, detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and VZV-specific effector (Teff) and memory (Tmem) T cells, was measured in 67 vaccinees. PCR was positive in 56% (9 direct, 28 nested) on day 1 and in 16% (1 direct, 10 nested) on day 14. Teff progressively increased in direct-PCR-positive vaccinees up to day 30, but Tmem did not. Conversely, Tmem, but not Teff, increased in direct-PCR-negative vaccinees on day 7. The kinetics of these immune responses and VZV DNAemia suggested that direct-PCR sample positive represented viremia.

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