Vaccination Against Varicella: What's the Point?

Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 659)


Live attenuated varicella vaccine was developed in Japan in the early 1970 s as a means to prevent varicella primary infection with varicella-zoster virus (VZV) in healthy and immunocompromised individuals (Takahashi et al., 1974). Takahashi had attenuated the virus by passage in various cell cultures using different propagation temperatures and produced a candidate vaccine virus that proved to be both safe and immunogenic. Initially, there was great controversy as to whether it was likely to be safe to develop a vaccine that had the potential to become latent after immunization and that might even be oncogenic (Brunell, 1977, 1978). It was also questioned as to whether varicella was a serious enough disease to be worth preventing.


Cell Mediate Immunity Latent Infection Leukemic Child Measle Vaccine Varicella Vaccine 


  1. Aaby, P., Samb, B., Simondon, F. et al. (1996). A comparison of vaccine efficacy and mortality during routine use of high-titre Edmonston-Zagreb and Schwarz standard measles vaccines in rural Senegal. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg, (90), 326–330.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Breuer, J. (2003). Monitoring virus strain variation following infection with VZV: is there a need and what are the implications of introducing the Oka vaccine? Commun Dis Public Health, (6), 59–62.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Brunell, P.A. (1977). Commentary: protection against varicella. Pediatrics, (59), 1–2.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Brunell, P.A. (1978). Varicella vaccine: the crossroads is where we are not! Pediatrics, (62), 858–859.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Centers-for-Disease-Control. (1996). Prevention of varicella: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Morb Mort Wkly Rep, (45), 1–36.Google Scholar
  6. Chaves, S.S., Gargiullo, P., Zhang, J.X. et al. (2007). Loss of vaccine-induced immunity to varicella over time. N Engl J Med, (356), 1121–1129.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen, J., Gershon, A., Silverstein, S.J., Li, Z.S., Lungu, O., & Gershon, M.D. (2003). Latent and lytic infection of isolated guinea pig enteric and dorsal root ganglia by varicella zoster virus. J Med Virol, (70), S71–S78.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen, J.J., Zhu, Z., Gershon, A.A., & Gershon, M.D. (2004). Mannose 6-phosphate receptor dependence of varicella zoster virus infection in vitro and in the epidermis during varicella and zoster. Cell, (119), 915–926.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gershon, A.A., Arvin, A.M., & Shapiro, E. (2007). Varicella vaccine. N Engl J Med, (356), 2648–2649.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gershon, A.A., Steinberg, S., & Gelb, L. (1984). NIAID-Collaborative-Varicella-Vaccine-Study-Group. Live attenuated varicella vaccine: efficacy for children with leukemia in remission. JAMA, (252), 355–362.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gershon, A., Takahashi, M., & Seward, J. (2008). Live attenuated varicella vaccine. In: S. Plotkin, W. Orenstein, & P. Offit (Eds.) Vaccines. pp. 915–958, Philadelphia: WB Saunders.Google Scholar
  12. Hardy, I.B., Gershon, A., Steinberg, S., LaRussa, P. et al. (1991). The incidence of zoster after immunization with live attenuated varicella vaccine. A study in children with leukemia. N Engl J Med, (325), 1545–1550.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Krause, P. & Klinman, D.M. (1995). Efficacy, immunogenicity, safety, and use of live attenuated chickenpox vaccine. J Pediatr, (127), 518–525.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kuter, B., Matthews, H., Shinefield, H. et al. (2004). Ten year follow-up of healthy children who received one or two injections of varicella vaccine. Pediatr Infect Dis J, (23), 132–137.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Michalik, D.E., Steinberg, S.P., LaRussa, P.S. et al. (2008). Primary vaccine failure after 1 dose of varicella vaccine in healthy children. J Infect Dis, (197), 944–949.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Oxman, M.N., Levin, M.J., Johnson, G.R. et al. (2005). A vaccine to prevent herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia in older adults. N Engl J Med, (352), 2271–2284.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Provost, P.J., Krah, D.L., Kuter, B.J. et al. (1991). Antibody assays suitable for assessing immune responses to live varicella vaccine. Vaccine, (9), 111–116.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Provost, P., Krah, D., Miller, W. et al. (1989). Comparative sensitivities of assays for antibodies induced by live varicella vaccine. Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.Google Scholar
  19. Seward, J.F., Watson, B.M., Peterson, C.L. et al. (2002). Varicella disease after introduction of varicella vaccine in the United States, 1995–2000. JAMA, (287), 606–611.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Shinefield, H., Black, S., Thear, M. et al. (2006). Safety and immunogenicity of a measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccine given with combined Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate/hepatitis B vaccines and combined diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccines. Pediatr Infect Dis J, (25), 287–292.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Takahashi, M., Otsuka, T., Okuno, Y., Asano, Y., Yazaki, T., Isomura, S. (1974). Live vaccine used to prevent the spread of varicella in children in hospital. Lancet, (2), 1288–1290.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Vazquez, M., LaRussa, P., Gershon, A., Steinberg, S., Freudigman, K., & Shapiro, E. (2001). The effectiveness of the varicella vaccine in clinical practice. N Engl J Med, (344), 955–960.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Vazquez, M., LaRussa, P.S., Gershon, A.A. et al. (2004). Effectiveness over time of varicella vaccine. JAMA, (291), 851–855.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Williams, V., Gershon, A., & Brunell, P. (1974). Serologic response to varicella-zoster membrane antigens measured by indirect immunofluorescence. J Infect Dis, (130), 669–672.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations