Objectives: In the first part of this study, we analyzed clinical factors associated with pediatric-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and patient susceptibility to herpes zoster (HZ). In the second part of this study, we characterized MBL2 genotype polymorphisms in pediatric-onset SLE patients and their possible associations with HZ.
Methods: This 10-year prospective cohort study compared pediatric-onset SLE patients from Taiwan with and without histories of HZ. By using 2 years as a standard interval, patients with early-onset and late-onset of HZ were compared. MBL2 gene polymorphisms in exon 1 at codon 54, and in the promoter at the position -221 and -550, were tested immediately after patient enrollment.
Results: We initially enrolled 98 SLE patients, and analyzed complete clinical characteristics of 82 patients (35 patients with HZ, 47 patients without HZ). The incidence of HZ was higher in SLE patients who had methylprednisolone pulse therapy, cyclophosphamide pulse therapy, and received higher cumulative steroid dose (P < 0.05 for all 3). There were no significant associations of HZ with MBL2 genotype or serum level of mannose-binding lectin.
Conclusions: Pediatric-onset SLE patients were highly susceptible to HZ, with an incidence of 35.7%. Patients given steroid, cyclophosphamide, and high cumulative steroid dose were more likely to have had HZ. Deficiency of serum mannose-binding lectin and MBL2 gene polymorphism were not associated with HZ.