We present data to confirm that exposure to varicella boosts immunity to herpes-zoster. We show that exposure to varicella is greater in adults living with children and that this exposure is highly protective against zoster (Incidence ratio=0.75, 95% CI, 0.63-0.89). The data is used to parameterise a mathematical model of varicella zoster virus (VZV) transmission that captures differences in exposure to varicella in adults living with and without children. Under the 'best-fit' model, exposure to varicella is estimated to boost cell-mediated immunity for an average of 20 years (95% CI, 7-41years). Mass varicella vaccination is expected to cause a major epidemic of herpes-zoster, affecting more than 50% of those aged 10-44 years at the introduction of vaccination.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The United Kingdom Medical Research Council, Grant number G9818303, provided financial support. We thank Dr Elizabeth Miller for comments on the manuscript. The MSGP4 data are Crown Copyright and are reproduced with permission.
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Varicella zoster virus