Yeast Ty virus-like particles (VLPs) containing viral protein inserts have previously been shown to be potent immunogens, inducing both humoral and cell mediated immunity (CMI). The antigenicity of hybrid VLPs containing fragments of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) gE protein or the assembly protein (AP) was assessed by lymphocyte proliferation. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with a recent natural VZV infection were stimulated in vitro with VZV-VLPs together with control antigens. PBMC samples from both varicella (85%) and zoster (75%) patients proliferated in responses to at least one of the gE VZV-VLPs. As reported for the first time, VZV specific lymphocyte responses were also identified towards the VZV AP in two varicella and two zoster patient samples. The results demonstrate specific CMI recognition of the VZV gE fragments tested and the VZV AP delivered in the form of recombinant Ty-VLPs, and highlights their potential use as a recombinant antigen delivery system for vaccination.