Molecular epidemiology of varicella-zoster virus in East London, England, between 1971 and 1995
Journal of Clinical Microbiology
The molecular epidemiology of varicella-zoster virus in London, England, between 1971 and 1995 was examined by using two informative polymorphic markers, variable repeat region R5 and a BglI restriction site in gene 54. Viruses from 105 cases of chickenpox and 144 of zoster were typed. Two alleles of R5, A and B, were found at prevalences of 89 and 6%, respectively. No difference in allele frequency between the zoster and chickenpox cases was found, and no change in the frequencies of these
... encies of these alleles was observed to occur over time. By contrast, a BglI restriction site (BglI ؉ ) was found with increasing frequency over time among cases of varicella (P < 0.005) and, to a lesser extent, cases of zoster. The BglI ؉ polymorphism was strongly associated (P < 0.0005) with zoster in subjects who had immigrated to the United Kingdom from countries with low adult immunity to varicella (LAIV). Sixty-three percent of the subjects with zoster who had emigrated from countries with LAIV carried the BglI ؉ virus, in contrast to 10% of adults who had grown up in countries with high adult immunity to varicella. The significance of these data, in view of the changing epidemiology of chickenpox, is discussed.