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Pathogens 2013, 2(2), 364-382;

Animal Models of Varicella Zoster Virus Infection

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Immunology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA
Division of Biomedical Sciences, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA, 92521, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 April 2013 / Revised: 16 April 2013 / Accepted: 1 May 2013 / Published: 13 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogen Infection Models)
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Primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV) results in varicella (chickenpox) followed by the establishment of latency in sensory ganglia. Declining T cell immunity due to aging or immune suppressive treatments can lead to VZV reactivation and the development of herpes zoster (HZ, shingles). HZ is often associated with significant morbidity and occasionally mortality in elderly and immune compromised patients. There are currently two FDA-approved vaccines for the prevention of VZV: Varivax® (for varicella) and Zostavax® (for HZ). Both vaccines contain the live-attenuated Oka strain of VZV. Although highly immunogenic, a two-dose regimen is required to achieve a 99% seroconversion rate. Zostavax vaccination reduces the incidence of HZ by 51% within a 3-year period, but a significant reduction in vaccine-induced immunity is observed within the first year after vaccination. Developing more efficacious vaccines and therapeutics requires a better understanding of the host response to VZV. These studies have been hampered by the scarcity of animal models that recapitulate all aspects of VZV infections in humans. In this review, we describe different animal models of VZV infection as well as an alternative animal model that leverages the infection of Old World macaques with the highly related simian varicella virus (SVV) and discuss their contributions to our understanding of pathogenesis and immunity during VZV infection. View Full-Text
Keywords: varicella zoster virus; guinea pigs; SCID-humanized mouse model; non-human primates; simian varicella virus varicella zoster virus; guinea pigs; SCID-humanized mouse model; non-human primates; simian varicella virus
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Haberthur, K.; Messaoudi, I. Animal Models of Varicella Zoster Virus Infection. Pathogens 2013, 2, 364-382.

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