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Immune Responses to Varicella-Zoster in the Aged

Immune Responses to Varicella-Zoster in the Aged Abstract Skin test reactivity and in vitro lymphocyte stimulation responses to varicella-zoster (VZ) were examined in a large normal population ranging in age from 6 months to 93 years. Waning of cellular immunity, as examined by skin delayed hypersensitivity, began at age 40 years. Skin test responses to phytohemagglutinin, however, remained positive into the eighth decade of life. In vitro lymphocyte stimulation responses to VZ were usually positive (stimulation index ≥ 2.5) until age 60 years, after which time levels, as observed with nonimmune individuals, were often demonstrated. Antibody levels, as measured by fluorescent antibody to membrane antigen, remained positive into the ninth and tenth decades of life. This was especially so with a history of reactivation (zoster) VZ infections, while skin test and in vitro responses were rarely positive in those individuals. Thus cellular, as contrasted with humoral, immunity decreases with advancing age, which may account for a propensity to reactivation of VZ virus. (Arch Intern Med 1982;142:291-293) References 1. Burgoon CF, Burgoon JS, Baldridge GD: The natural history of herpes-zoster. JAMA 1957;164:265-270.Crossref 2. Wright ET, Winer LH: Herpes zoster and malignancy. Arch Dermatol 1961;84:242-244.Crossref 3. Goffinet DR, Glatstein EJ, Merigan TC: Herpes zoster-varicella infections and lymphoma. Ann Intern Med 1972;76:235-240. 4. Ruckdeschel JC, Schimpff SC, Smyth AC, et al: Herpes zoster and impaired cell-associated immunity to the varicella-zoster virus in patients with Hodgkin's disease. Am J Med 1977;62:77-85.Crossref 5. Steele RW, Vincent MM, Berry DH: Passive transfer of skin test reactivity to varicella-zoster antigen in childhood leukemia and prevention of disease with transfer factor , in Current Chemotherapy and Infectious Disease Proceedings of the 11th ICC and the 19th ICAAC. Washington, DC, American Society of Microbiology, 1980, pp 1438-1439. 6. Steele RW: Transfer factor and cellular reactivity to varicella-zoster antigen in childhood leukemia. Cell Immunol 1980;50:282-289.Crossref 7. Steele RW, Hensen SA, Vincent MM, et al: A 51Cr microassay technique for cell-mediated immunity to viruses. J Immunol 1973;110:1502-1510. 8. Williams V, Gershon A, Brunell PA: Serologic response to varicella-zoster membrane antigens measured by indirect immunofluorescence. J Infect Dis 1974;130:669-672.Crossref 9. Weksler ME, Hutteroth TH: Impaired lymphocyte function in aged humans. J Clin Invest 1974;53:99-104.Crossref 10. Foad BSI, Adams LE, Yamauchi Y, et al: Phytomitogen responses of peripheral blood lymphocytes in young and older subjects. Clin Exp Immunol 1974;17:657-664. 11. Hallgren HM, Buckley CE, Gilbertsen VA, et al: Lymphocyte phytohemagglutinin responsiveness, immunoglobulins, and autoantibodies in aging humans. J Immunol 1973;11:1101-1107. 12. Miller AE: Selective decline in cellular immune response to varicella-zoster in the elderly. Neurology 1980;30:582-587.Crossref 13. Blaese RM, Weiden P, Oppenheim JJ, et al: Phytohemagglutinin as a skin test for the evaluation of cellular immune competence in man. Lab Clin Med 1973;81:538-548. 14. Kaufman DB, deMendonca WC, Newton J: Diphtheria-tetanus skin testing. Am J Dis Child 1980;134:479-483. 15. Bonforte RJ, Topilsky M, Siltzbach LE, et al: Phytohemagglutinin skin test: A possible in vivo measure of cell-mediated immunity. J Pediatr 1972;81:775-780.Crossref 16. Hope-Simpson RE: The nature of herpes zoster: A long-term study and a new hypothesis. Proc R Soc Med 1965;58:9-20. 17. Gershon AA, Steinberg SP: Cellular and humoral immune response to varicella-zoster virus in immunocompromised patients during and after varicella-zoster infections. Infect Immun 1979;25:170-174. 18. Steele RW, Myers MG, Vincent MM: Transfer factor for the prevention of varicella-zoster infection in childhood leukemia. N Engl J Med 1980;303:355-359.Crossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Internal Medicine American Medical Association

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1982 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-9926
eISSN
1538-3679
DOI
10.1001/archinte.1982.00340150091017
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Skin test reactivity and in vitro lymphocyte stimulation responses to varicella-zoster (VZ) were examined in a large normal population ranging in age from 6 months to 93 years. Waning of cellular immunity, as examined by skin delayed hypersensitivity, began at age 40 years. Skin test responses to phytohemagglutinin, however, remained positive into the eighth decade of life. In vitro lymphocyte stimulation responses to VZ were usually positive (stimulation index ≥ 2.5) until age 60 years, after which time levels, as observed with nonimmune individuals, were often demonstrated. Antibody levels, as measured by fluorescent antibody to membrane antigen, remained positive into the ninth and tenth decades of life. This was especially so with a history of reactivation (zoster) VZ infections, while skin test and in vitro responses were rarely positive in those individuals. Thus cellular, as contrasted with humoral, immunity decreases with advancing age, which may account for a propensity to reactivation of VZ virus. (Arch Intern Med 1982;142:291-293) References 1. Burgoon CF, Burgoon JS, Baldridge GD: The natural history of herpes-zoster. JAMA 1957;164:265-270.Crossref 2. Wright ET, Winer LH: Herpes zoster and malignancy. Arch Dermatol 1961;84:242-244.Crossref 3. Goffinet DR, Glatstein EJ, Merigan TC: Herpes zoster-varicella infections and lymphoma. Ann Intern Med 1972;76:235-240. 4. Ruckdeschel JC, Schimpff SC, Smyth AC, et al: Herpes zoster and impaired cell-associated immunity to the varicella-zoster virus in patients with Hodgkin's disease. Am J Med 1977;62:77-85.Crossref 5. Steele RW, Vincent MM, Berry DH: Passive transfer of skin test reactivity to varicella-zoster antigen in childhood leukemia and prevention of disease with transfer factor , in Current Chemotherapy and Infectious Disease Proceedings of the 11th ICC and the 19th ICAAC. Washington, DC, American Society of Microbiology, 1980, pp 1438-1439. 6. Steele RW: Transfer factor and cellular reactivity to varicella-zoster antigen in childhood leukemia. Cell Immunol 1980;50:282-289.Crossref 7. Steele RW, Hensen SA, Vincent MM, et al: A 51Cr microassay technique for cell-mediated immunity to viruses. J Immunol 1973;110:1502-1510. 8. Williams V, Gershon A, Brunell PA: Serologic response to varicella-zoster membrane antigens measured by indirect immunofluorescence. J Infect Dis 1974;130:669-672.Crossref 9. Weksler ME, Hutteroth TH: Impaired lymphocyte function in aged humans. J Clin Invest 1974;53:99-104.Crossref 10. Foad BSI, Adams LE, Yamauchi Y, et al: Phytomitogen responses of peripheral blood lymphocytes in young and older subjects. Clin Exp Immunol 1974;17:657-664. 11. Hallgren HM, Buckley CE, Gilbertsen VA, et al: Lymphocyte phytohemagglutinin responsiveness, immunoglobulins, and autoantibodies in aging humans. J Immunol 1973;11:1101-1107. 12. Miller AE: Selective decline in cellular immune response to varicella-zoster in the elderly. Neurology 1980;30:582-587.Crossref 13. Blaese RM, Weiden P, Oppenheim JJ, et al: Phytohemagglutinin as a skin test for the evaluation of cellular immune competence in man. Lab Clin Med 1973;81:538-548. 14. Kaufman DB, deMendonca WC, Newton J: Diphtheria-tetanus skin testing. Am J Dis Child 1980;134:479-483. 15. Bonforte RJ, Topilsky M, Siltzbach LE, et al: Phytohemagglutinin skin test: A possible in vivo measure of cell-mediated immunity. J Pediatr 1972;81:775-780.Crossref 16. Hope-Simpson RE: The nature of herpes zoster: A long-term study and a new hypothesis. Proc R Soc Med 1965;58:9-20. 17. Gershon AA, Steinberg SP: Cellular and humoral immune response to varicella-zoster virus in immunocompromised patients during and after varicella-zoster infections. Infect Immun 1979;25:170-174. 18. Steele RW, Myers MG, Vincent MM: Transfer factor for the prevention of varicella-zoster infection in childhood leukemia. N Engl J Med 1980;303:355-359.Crossref

Journal

Archives of Internal MedicineAmerican Medical Association

Published: Feb 1, 1982

References