Herpes Zoster in Childhood: A Review

Herpes Zoster in Childhood: A Review

Patients with HIV infection are at a risk of developing severe illness from either varicella or herpes zoster. Progressive primary varicella, a syndrome with persistent new lesion formation and visceral dissemination, may occur in HIV infected patients and may be life threatening. In the remaining cases and in infections at a later stage of pregnancy, the fetus is either not infected or suffers a subclinical infection with persistence of immunoglobulin G (IgG) at 1-2 years of age. The low levels of lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, cytokines and virus specific immunoglobulins seen in utero and in infancy may result in an inability to maintain the latency of VZV leading to the early appearance of zoster in children.