Varicella-zoster virus-specific immune responses in elderly recipients of a herpes zoster vaccine.

TitleVaricella-zoster virus-specific immune responses in elderly recipients of a herpes zoster vaccine.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsLevin MJ, Oxman MN, Zhang JH, Johnson GR, Stanley H, Hayward AR, Caulfield MJ, Irwin MR, Smith JG, Clair J, Chan ISF, Williams H, Harbecke R, Marchese R, Straus SE, Gershon A, Weinberg A
Corporate AuthorsVeterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program Shingles Prevention Study Investigators
JournalJ Infect Dis
Date Published2008 Mar 15
KeywordsAge Factors, Aged, Antibodies, Viral, Double-Blind Method, Female, Herpes Zoster, Herpes Zoster Vaccine, Herpesvirus 3, Human, Humans, Immunity, Cellular, Male, Vaccines, Attenuated

BACKGROUND: A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that involved 38,546 subjects > or =60 years old demonstrated efficacy of a high-potency live-attenuated Oka/Merck varicella-zoster virus (VZV) vaccine. The trial included an immunology substudy to determine the relationship of VZV-specific immune responses to vaccination and clinical outcome.

METHODS: The immunology substudy enrolled 1395 subjects at 2 sites where blood samples obtained prior to vaccination, at 6 weeks after vaccination, and at 1, 2, and 3 years thereafter were tested for VZV-specific cell-mediated immunity (VZV-CMI) by gamma-interferon ELISPOT and responder cell frequency assays and for VZV antibody by glycoprotein ELISA.

RESULTS: VZV-CMI and VZV antibodies were significantly increased in vaccine recipients at 6 weeks after vaccination. The vaccine-induced increases in VZV-CMI persisted during the 3 years of follow-up, although their magnitude decreased over time. The magnitude of these VZV-specific immune responses was greater in subjects 60-69 years old than in subjects > or =70 years old.

CONCLUSIONS: The zoster vaccine induced a significant increase in VZV-CMI and VZV antibody. The magnitude and duration of the boost in VZV-CMI in vaccine recipients and the relationship of this boost to age paralleled the clinical effects of the vaccine observed during the efficacy trial. These findings support the hypothesis that boosting VZV-CMI protects older adults against herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia.

Alternate JournalJ. Infect. Dis.
PubMed ID18419349
PubMed Central IDPMC4014857
Grant ListH12HA00070 / / PHS HHS / United States
M01-RR00865 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States
N01-HD-3-3345 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
P60 AG10415 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG026006-01 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG026364 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AR049840 / AR / NIAMS NIH HHS / United States
R01 CA10014152 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
R01 HL079955 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH55253 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 NR009228 / NR / NINR NIH HHS / United States
T32MH19925 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
U01 AI068632 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States