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2.
Dermatol Ther (Heidelb) ; 11(4): 1119-1126, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230303

ABSTRACT

Herpes zoster (HZ) is associated with substantial morbidity. It is caused by reactivation of the latent varicella zoster virus (VZV) following decline in cell-mediated immunity, which is commonly age-related, but also occurs in individuals with immunosuppressive diseases and/or treatment. Since coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, has been associated with T cell immune dysfunction and there have been reports of HZ in COVID-19 patients, we have performed a review of available literature on whether COVID-19 could trigger HZ. We identified 27 cases of HZ following COVID-19, which most frequently occurred within 1-2 weeks of COVID-19, and the majority of cases had typical presentation. Atypical presentations of HZ were noted especially in patients with lymphopenia. It has been hypothesized that VZV reactivation occurs as a consequence of T cell dysfunction (including lymphopenia and lymphocyte exhaustion) in COVID-19 patients. Based on current evidence, which is limited to case reports and case series, it is not possible to determine whether COVID-19 increases the risk of HZ. Practitioners should be aware of the possible increased risk of HZ during the pandemic period and consider timely therapeutic and preventive measures against it.

3.
Rheumatology (Oxford) ; 60(SI): SI90-SI95, 2021 10 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180634

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: As global vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 disease commence, vaccine safety needs to be closely assessed. The safety profile of mRNA-based vaccines in patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIIRD) is unknown. The objective of this report is to raise awareness of reactivation of herpes zoster (HZ) following the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination in patients with AIIRD. METHODS: The safety of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination was assessed in an observational study monitoring post-vaccination adverse effects in patients with AIIRD (n = 491) and controls (n = 99), conducted in two rheumatology departments in Israel. RESULTS: The prevalence of HZ was 1.2% (n = 6) in patients with AIIRD compared with none in controls. Six female patients aged 49 ± 11 years with stable AIIRD: RA (n = 4), Sjogren's syndrome (n = 1), and undifferentiated connective disease (n = 1), developed the first in a lifetime event of HZ within a short time after the first vaccine dose in five cases and after the second vaccine dose in one case. In the majority of cases, HZ infection was mild, except a case of HZ ophthalmicus, without corneal involvement, in an RA patient treated with tofacitinib. There were no cases of disseminated HZ disease or postherpetic neuralgia. All but one patient received antiviral treatment with a resolution of HZ-related symptoms up to 6 weeks. Five patients completed the second vaccine dose without other adverse effects. CONCLUSION: Epidemiologic studies on the safety of the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines in patients with AIIRD are needed to clarify the association between the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination and reactivation of zoster.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Herpes Zoster/chemically induced , Herpesvirus 3, Human/physiology , Rheumatic Diseases/virology , Virus Activation/drug effects , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Herpes Zoster/virology , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Infect Dis (Lond) ; 53(9): 713-718, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1172620

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infects and establishes latency in neurons in the ganglia of the cranial nerve, dorsal root and enteric ganglia. VZV reactivation in enteric neurons (enteric zoster) can cause non-specific abdominal pain and/or serious gastrointestinal dysfunction without cutaneous manifestations. Detection of VZV DNA in saliva may be useful for identifying enteric zoster. We evaluated the frequency of putative enteric zoster based on the presence of salivary VZV DNA in patients with acute abdominal pain. METHODS: Adult patients who visited the emergency room due to moderate to severe acute abdominal pain were prospectively enrolled at a tertiary hospital between May 2019 and November 2019. Abdominopelvic computed tomography (APCT) was performed in all patients. We also evaluated the presence of salivary VZV DNA in patients with confirmed coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) who were under stressful conditions. Saliva samples were collected from all studied patients. Enteric zoster was suspected based on the presence of salivary VZV DNA, detected using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). RESULTS: Fifty patients with moderate to severe abdominal pain were enrolled. Five of 50 patients exhibited positive VZV-DNA PCR results. APCT revealed that among these five patients, two had pancreatic head cancer, two had small bowel obstruction after intra-abdominal surgery, and one had no remarkable findings. However, all 14 patients with COVID-19 showed negative salivary VZV-DNA PCR results. CONCLUSIONS: Approximately 10% of patients with moderate to severe acute abdominal pain showed positivity for salivary VZV DNA. Further studies are warranted on whether antiviral therapy based on salivary VZV-DNA PCR results may relieve abdominal pain in the studied patient population. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrial.gov, number NCT03862092.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Herpes Zoster , Abdominal Pain , Adult , DNA, Viral/genetics , Herpes Zoster/diagnosis , Herpesvirus 3, Human/genetics , Humans , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Saliva
5.
Cancers (Basel) ; 12(11)2020 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-895332

ABSTRACT

Ruxolitinib (RUX), a JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor, is approved for second-line therapy in patients with polycythemia vera (PV) who are resistant or intolerant to hydroxyurea. Due to the immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive effect of RUX, there is an increased susceptibility to infections. However, an increased risk of infection is inherent to even untreated myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). To obtain more information on the clinical significance of RUX-associated infections in PV, we reviewed the available literature. There is no evidence-based approach to managing infection risks. Most data on RUX-associated infections are available for MF. In all studies, the infection rates in the RUX and control groups were fairly similar, with the exception of infections with the varicella zoster virus (VZV). However, individual cases of bilateral toxoplasmosis retinitis, disseminated molluscum contagiosum, or a mycobacterium tuberculosis infection or a hepatitis B reactivation are reported. A careful assessment of the risk of infection for PV patients is required at the initial presentation and before the start of RUX. Screening for hepatitis B is recommended in all patients. The risk of RUX-associated infections is lower with PV than with MF, but compared to a normal population there is an increased risk of VZV infection. However, primary VZV prophylaxis for PV patients is not recommended, while secondary prophylaxis can be considered individually. As early treatment is most effective for VZV, patients should be properly informed and trained to seek medical advice immediately if cutaneous signs of VZV develop. Vaccination against influenza, herpes zoster, and pneumococci should be considered in all PV patients at risk of infection, especially if RUX treatment is planned. Current recommendations do not support adjusting or discontinuing JAK inhibition in MPN patients to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

6.
Cureus ; 12(7): e8998, 2020 Jul 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-646905

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has a broad spectrum of manifestations. A variety of dermatological manifestations were described. We present a case of an immunocompetent middle-aged man who presented with novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and later developed herpes zoster (HZ). The case highlights the possibility of COVID-19-related HZ. The highest infection control measures must be abided when managing patients with cutaneous complaints until COVID-19 is ruled out.

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