Herpes zoster is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins HIV Guide.

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PATHOGENS

  • Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is an enveloped, double-stranded DNA, human α-herpesviruses.
  • After inhalation, VZV proliferates in the tonsils and and is carried to the epidermis where it causes chicken pox. Then, VZV travels via retrograde transport from sensory nerve terminals to dorsal root and cranial nerve ganglia, and establishes lifelong latent infection.[6]
  • VZV reactivates in setting of declining cell-mediated immunity in elderly and immunocompromised individuals, producing herpes zoster (HZ).
  • >95% of adult U.S. population infected; in 50% of individuals, VZV reactivation results in HZ by 85 years of age.[5]

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PATHOGENS

  • Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is an enveloped, double-stranded DNA, human α-herpesviruses.
  • After inhalation, VZV proliferates in the tonsils and and is carried to the epidermis where it causes chicken pox. Then, VZV travels via retrograde transport from sensory nerve terminals to dorsal root and cranial nerve ganglia, and establishes lifelong latent infection.[6]
  • VZV reactivates in setting of declining cell-mediated immunity in elderly and immunocompromised individuals, producing herpes zoster (HZ).
  • >95% of adult U.S. population infected; in 50% of individuals, VZV reactivation results in HZ by 85 years of age.[5]

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Last updated: March 7, 2020