IE63-specific T-cell responses associate with control of subclinical varicella zoster virus reactivation in individuals with malignancies.
Malavige GN., Rohanachandra LT., Jones L., Crack L., Perera M., Fernando N., Guruge D., Ogg GS.
BACKGROUND: Reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (VZV) is more common in patients with malignancies; however, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this susceptibility are unclear. METHODS: Using ex vivo interferon-gamma ELISpot assays, we set out to analyse VZV-specific immune responses in a large cohort of patients with malignancies. RESULTS: We observed that patients with malignancies had impaired VZV-specific T-cell responses, particularly in those with haematological malignancies and breast carcinoma. Immediate-early protein 63 (IE63)-specific T-cell responses were significantly impaired in those with subclinical VZV re-activation. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that T-cell responses to IE63 are important in controlling VZV replication.