Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) in Solid Organ Transplant Patients

Authors

  • R. A. Zuckerman,

    1. Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Disease and International Health, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH
    2. Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH
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  • A. P. Limaye

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    • Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Disease and International Health, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH
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Corresponding author: Ajit P. Limaye,

limaye@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Varicella zoster virus (VZV) and the two herpes simplex viruses (HSV) are human α-herpesviruses that establish life-long latency in neural ganglia after initial primary infection. In the solid organ transplant (SOT) population, manifestations of VZV or HSV may be seen in up to 70% of recipients if no prophylaxis is used, some of them life and organ threatening. While there are effective vaccines to prevent VZV primary infection and reactivation in immunocompetent adults, these vaccines are contraindicated after SOT because they are live-virus vaccines. For HSV, prevention has focused primarily on antiviral strategies because the immunologic correlates of protection and control are different from VZV, making vaccine development more challenging. Current antiviral therapy remains effective for the majority of clinical VZV and HSV infections.

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