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Varicella-zoster virus-derived major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted peptide affinity is a determining factor in the HLA risk profile for the development of postherpetic neuralgia.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Virology
1098-5514
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Volume
89
Issue
2
Pages
962–969
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02500-14
PMID: 25355886
Source
Medline

Abstract

Varicella-zoster virus can cause two distinct diseases: chickenpox (varicella) and shingles (herpes zoster). Varicella is a common disease in young children, while herpes zoster is more frequent in older individuals. A common complication of herpes zoster is postherpetic neuralgia, a persistent and debilitating pain that can remain months up to years after the resolution of the rash. In this study, we show that the relative affinity of HLA variants associated with higher postherpetic neuralgia risk for varicella-zoster virus peptides is lower than that of variants with a lower risk. These results provide new insight into the development of postherpetic neuralgia and strongly support the hypothesis that one of its possible underlying causes is a suboptimal anti-VZV immune response due to weak HLA binding peptide affinity.

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