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Long-term study showed that vaccination protected paediatric renal transplant recipients from life-threatening varicella zoster virus.

Journal article
Authors Jenny K Lindahl
Vanda Friman
Susanne Westphal Ladfors
Sverker Hansson
Rune Andersson
Marianne Jertborn
Susanne Woxenius
Published in Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992)
Volume 107
Issue 12
Pages 2185-2192
ISSN 1651-2227
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 2185-2192
Language en
Subject categories Infectious Medicine


Renal transplant patients are particularly susceptible to highly contagious diseases due to their reduced immunity. We studied transplant recipients to gauge their varicella zoster virus (VZV) serology status over time and the outcome of any VZV infections.This retrospective study comprised 85 children who underwent renal transplants in Gothenburg, Sweden, from 1986 to 2014, at a mean age of eight (1-18) years. The children's medical records were reviewed and 47 had the VZV infection pre-transplant and 38 had been vaccinated pre-transplant. Clinical outcomes were available for 85 children and serology results for 72.At transplantation, the VZV seropositivity rate was 50% in the vaccination group and 94% in the infection group and the antibody titres were significantly lower in the vaccination group (p = 0.031). During the median follow-up period of five years post-transplant, 28% of the vaccinated children and 97% of the infection group remained seropositive and the varicella infection affected eight children: one in the infection group and seven in the vaccination group. The herpes zoster was observed in two children in the infection group.This study demonstrated that VZV vaccination protected from symptomatic infections to a lesser extent than natural infection, but provided effective protection from life-threatening disease.

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