Varicella-zoster virus reactivation without rash

J Infect Dis. 1992 Aug;166 Suppl 1:S30-4. doi: 10.1093/infdis/166.supplement_1.s30.


Reactivation of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) leads to localized zoster (shingles), a syndrome characterized by pain and a vesicular rash. Rarely, patients experience radicular pain without zosteriform rash, cases that have been regarded as zoster sine herpete (zoster without rash). Virologic evidence for zoster sine herpete is sparse. However, VZV can produce other neurologic and visceral diseases in the absence of rash or radicular pain. The clinical and virologic features of zoster sine herpete and other disorders produced by VZV without rash are reviewed. Evidence is also presented for the detection of VZV DNA in human blood mononuclear cells of elderly individuals in the absence of skin lesions or other VZV-associated neurologic or systemic disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Herpes Zoster / microbiology*
  • Herpes Zoster / pathology
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nervous System Diseases / microbiology
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Recurrence
  • Virus Activation


  • DNA, Viral
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides