Varicella-Zoster—Virus Genotypes in East London: A Prospective Study in Patients with Herpes Zoster

Sengupta, N.; Taha, V.; Scott, F. T.; Leedham-Green, M. E.; Quinlivan, M.; Breuer, J.
October 2007
Journal of Infectious Diseases;10/1/2007, Vol. 196 Issue 7, p1014
Academic Journal
A total of 298 patients with herpes zoster were recruited as part of 2 community-based studies in East London between 1998 and 2003. Single nucleotide–polymorphism analysis of 4 regions (genes 1, 21, 37, and 60) found that most genotypes were European strains C and B, representing 58% and 21% of all samples collected. No change in the proportion of these European clades has occurred during the past 80 years, strongly supporting the hypothesis that these strains are indigenous to the United Kingdom. White patients almost exclusively had reactivation of genotypes C (66%) and B (21%), whereas patients from Africa, Asia, or the Caribbean mainly had reactivation of genotypes A and J. An increase in BglI-positive A and J genotypes in UK cases of zoster is only partly explained by immigration from endemic regions. The data presented provide a baseline against which to evaluate changes in the molecular epidemiology of varicella-zoster virus and the effect of immunization with the Japanese Oka vaccine strain.


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