Center for Human Genetics and Laboratory Diagnostics, Dr. Klein, Dr. Rost and Colleagues

Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV)

Dr. med. Hartmut Campe, Dr. med. Hanns-Georg Klein

Scientific Background

Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) causes chickenpox. The disease progression can be complicated by pneumonia and meningitis. Following primary infection, the virus persists in the sensory ganglia and the ganglia of the cranial nerves. Reactivation due to temporarily weakened immunity causes shingles (herpes zoster). Facial shingles (herpes ophthalmicus or oticus) requires prompt treatment, as does the generalized disease progression seen in immunocompromised patients (transplant recipients, tumor patients, AIDS patients).

Prepartal VZV primary infections of pregnant women can contribute to frequent pneumonia in the newborn child.