VZV immune globulin

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VZV (varicella zoster virus) globulin is an immune system medication that is used mostly for immunosuppressed patients. It shortens the course of cutaneous disease and may protect against its dissemination.[1] Varicella zoster virus is a virus in humans that causes chickenpox, shingles, Ramsay Hunt syndrome type II, and postherpetic neuralgia.

The immunoglobulin is prepared from the plasma of normal donors for high titer of antibody to varicella zoster virus (VZV). A study was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases that proved outdated blood from blood banks had antibody concentrations that were equivalent to donor plasma recovering from recent VZV infection that produced zoster immune globulin.

Another study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases proved that varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) can be administered to children with suppressed immune systems to protect them against severe chicken pox.

A study also published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases found that immune subjects exposed to VZV with an increase in immunity suggests that subclinical reinfection occurs, where subclinical means a disease has symptoms that are not severe or observable.

An academic article from Clinical Infectious Diseases states that depression impacts the immune system by diminishing the varicella zoster virus-cell mediated immunity (VZV-CMI) response to a zoster vaccine. This can cause a higher risk and severity of herpes zoster (HZ). Treatment of depression through antidepressants can normalize the responses. Therefore, untreated depression increases the severity and risk of HZ and reduces zoster vaccine efficacy.


  1. ^ Wilkinson, Iain and Lennox, Graham (June 2005). Essential Neurology (4th ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. p. 263 ISBN 978-1-4051-1867-5.

"Evaluation of Varicella-Zoster Immune Globulin: Protection of Immunosuppressed Children after Household Exposure to Varicella" Journal of Infectious Diseases. Oxford Journals, Jul 1982. Web. 20 Mar 2013. <http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/147/4/737.short>. "A Practical Method for Preparation of Varicella-Zoster Immune Globulin" Journal of Infectious Diseases. Oxford Journals, Sep 1977. Web. 20 Mar 2013. <http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/137/5/601.short>. "Immunologic Evidence of Reinfection with Varicella-Zoster Virus" Journal of Infectious Diseases. Oxford Journals, Dec 1982. Web. 20 Mar 2013. <http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/148/2/200.short>. "Varicella Zoster Virus–Specific Immune Responses to a Herpes Zoster Vaccine in Elderly Recipients With Major Depression and the Impact of Antidepressant Medications." Clinical Infectious Diseases. Apr 2013. Web. 24 Apr 2013. <http://web.ebscohost.com.leo.lib.unomaha.edu/ehost/detail?vid=3&sid=839b3b9d-bd82-4870-8627-24ab6ad0b39e%40sessionmgr115&hid=117&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=86227292>.