Antibodies against varicella-zoster virus and herpes simplex virus deoxythymidine kinase in heterologous infections

C F Källander, E G Torfason, E Olding-Stenkvist, V A Sundqvist, H Diderholm, J S Gronowitz
Journal of Medical Virology 1989, 28 (1): 30-7
Antibody responses to varicella-zoster virus (VZV) deoxythymidine kinase (dTK) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) dTK in homologous and heterologous infections were studied. Antibodies blocking the enzymatic activity of VZV-dTK appeared late after varicella and decreased more or less in parallel with the decreasing complement fixing [CF] titre. In herpes zoster, on the other hand, antibodies to VZV-dTK appeared soon after infection. Antibodies against HSV dTKs appeared long after primary infection, but they were subsequently present in all other HSV-CF positive sera. In recurrent HSV, all acute sera were already HSV-dTK antibody positive, and three of nine persons showed an increase in titer between their acute and convalescent sera. Blocking antibodies to VZV-dTK appeared rapidly in specimens from three of 18 individuals positive by an immunofluorescence VZV-immunity test during HSV infection, whereas all other specimens remained devoid of blocking antibodies against VZV-dTK. A rise in antibody titre against HSV-dTK during VZV infections was observed in serum specimens from three of 13 HSV-CF positive patients, whereas an antibody response against HSV-dTK was not found in HSV-CF negative individuals in connection with VZV infections. The relevance of the sporadic increase in the titres of antibodies against heterologous viral dTKs is discussed.

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