Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is a human herpesvirus encoding at least 69 distinct viral proteins which causes chickenpox after primary infection and shingles during reactivation and which is particularly important in pregnancy and immunocompromised patients. Current serodiagnostic tests are either based on whole cell lysates or glycoprotein preparations. In order to investigate the humoral immune response to VZV infection or vaccination in more detail, and to improve the currently available diagnostic assays, we developed a nucleic acid programmable protein array (NAPPA) containing all 69 VZV proteins and performed a detailed analysis of 68 sera from individuals with either no, a previous or an acute VZV infection. In addition to the known reactive glycoprotein antigens (ORF 5, ORF 14, ORF 31, ORF 37, ORF 68), we discovered IgG antibodies against a variety of other membrane (ORF 2, ORF 24), capsid (ORF 20, ORF 23, ORF 43) and tegument (ORF 53, ORF 9, ORF 11) proteins, as well as other proteins involved in virus replication and assembly (ORF 25, ORF 26, ORF 28) and the transactivator proteins ORF 12, ORF 62 and ORF 63. All of these antigens were only reactive in a subset of VZV-positive individuals. A subset of the newly identified VZV antigens was validated by western blot analysis. Using these seroreactive new VZV antigens, more sensitive assays and tests distinguishing between different clinical entities may be developed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology