Fatal varicella associated with selective natural killer cell deficiency

J Pediatr. 2005 Mar;146(3):423-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2004.11.022.


A 2-year-old girl with recurrent severe varicella infections had a fatal outcome. Studies of cellular and humoral immunity were normal. No natural killer (NK) cells were detected, and NK activity was markedly decreased. The interleukin (IL)15/IL15R signaling pathway was intact. This case emphasizes the role of NK cells in controlling herpes viral infection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Chickenpox / immunology*
  • Encephalitis, Varicella Zoster / immunology*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / physiology
  • Recurrence