Clinical and genetic risk factors of herpes zoster in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Rheumatol Int. 2005 Mar;25(2):97-102. doi: 10.1007/s00296-003-0403-3. Epub 2003 Oct 31.


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the clinical and genetic risk factors that influence herpes zoster occurrence in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Methods: Three hundred three SLE patients meeting the American College of Rheumatology criteria were enrolled in this study. Herpes zoster was diagnosed when classic grouped vesicles were noted. Medical records were reviewed retrospectively to collect clinical information. For Fc gamma receptor IIa (Fc gamma RIIa) and Fc gamma RIIIa genotyping, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using allele-specific primers was performed. The PCR sequence-specific oligonucleotide probe method was utilized in human HLA-DRB1 genotyping.

Results: Forty-two cases (13.9%) of zoster occurred among 303 SLE patients. The incidence of zoster in patients with SLE was 32.5/1,000 patients per year. Patients who developed zoster had higher rates of lupus nephritis (P = 0.018) and positive anti-Sm antibody (P = 0.019). However, Fc gamma RIIa and Fc gamma RIIIa polymorphism and the HLA-DRB1 genotype did not influence herpes zoster occurrence.

Conclusion: Systemic lupus erythematosus patients with lupus nephritis or anti-Sm antibody are at higher risk of herpes zoster. Fc gamma RIIa (H/R131), Fc gamma RIIIa (F/V176), and HLA-DRB1 genetic polymorphisms did not influence the occurrence of herpes zoster in these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autoantigens
  • Female
  • Herpes Zoster / genetics*
  • Herpes Zoster / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / genetics*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Lupus Nephritis / genetics
  • Lupus Nephritis / immunology
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nuclear / immunology
  • Risk Factors
  • snRNP Core Proteins


  • Autoantigens
  • Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nuclear
  • snRNP Core Proteins