, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 277–284 | Cite as

Epidemiology and factors influencing varicella infections in tropical countries including Sri Lanka

  • S. W. P. Lakmini Daulagala
  • Faseeha NoordeenEmail author
Review Article


Varicella zoster virus (VZV) infections occur worldwide but the epidemiology differs between different geographical regions. Epidemiology of varicella is partly understood in tropical and subtropical regions. Various hypotheses showing differences in exposure rates in different age groups have been proposed. Exposure to VZV during late childhood or adolescent stage causes high morbidity, especially in high school children, university students and young work force in tropical nations. Exposure to VZV infection or sero-prevalence rates through anti-VZV immunoglobulin G appears to be lower in Sri Lanka, similar to other tropical countries prior to the millennium. In contrast, a more recent study in a group of antenatal women showed a relatively higher exposure rate to VZV when compared to the exposure rates prior to 2004 in Sri Lanka. Climatic factors, socioeconomic conditions, mobility and cultural practices appear to play a role in the differences in the exposure rates to VZV infection in the tropics. In most tropical Asian countries including Sri Lanka, routine vaccination against varicella is not carried out. Individuals with negative history for varicella take the vaccine when there is a necessity. Medical and nursing students take the vaccine prior to their clinical training to avoid adulthood varicella.


Epidemiology Varicella Varicella zoster virus Sero-prevalence Sri Lanka 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Indian Virological Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. W. P. Lakmini Daulagala
    • 1
  • Faseeha Noordeen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of PeradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka

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