Varicella-zoster virus: mechanisms of pathogenicity and corneal disease

Ophthalmol Clin North Am. 2002 Mar;15(1):7-15, v. doi: 10.1016/s0896-1549(01)00006-2.


As ophthalmologists, many of our patients suffer from the ravages, both ocular and non-ocular, of the varicella-zoster virus. This article is a comprehensive review of the pathogenetic mechanisms of this ubiquitous virus. We review the basic virology, mechanisms of varicella, zoster, latency, reactivation, and the host immune response to the virus. Herpes zoster ophthalmicus is discussed with special attention to the cornea and mechanisms of viral keratitis.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Corneal Diseases / etiology
  • Corneal Diseases / history
  • Corneal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Corneal Diseases / virology*
  • Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus / etiology
  • Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus / history
  • Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus / physiopathology
  • Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus / virology*
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / physiology*
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Virus Activation