The natural history of varicella zoster virus infection in Norway: Further insights on exogenous boosting and progressive immunity to herpes zoster

Abstract

We use age-structured models for VZV transmission and reactivation to reconstruct the natural history of VZV in Norway based on available pre-vaccination serological data, contact matrices, and herpes zoster incidence data. Depending on the hypotheses on contact and transmission patterns, the basic reproduction number of varicella in Norway ranges between 3.7 and 5.0, implying a vaccine coverage between 73 and 80% to effectively interrupt transmission with a 100% vaccine efficacy against infection. The varicella force of infection peaks during early childhood (3-5 yrs) and shows a prolonged phase of higher risk during the childbearing period, though quantitative variations can occur depending on contact patterns. By expressing the magnitude of exogenous boosting as a proportion of the force of infection, it is shown that reactivation is well described by a progressive immunity mechanism sustained by a large, though possibly below 100%, degree of exogenous boosting, in agreement with findings from other Nordic countries, implying large reproduction numbers of boosting. Moreover, magnitudes of exogenous boosting below 40% are robustly disconfirmed by data. These results bring further insight on the magnitude of immunity boosting and its relationship with reactivation.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176845

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Marangi2017TheNH, title={The natural history of varicella zoster virus infection in Norway: Further insights on exogenous boosting and progressive immunity to herpes zoster}, author={Luigi Marangi and Grazina Mirinaviciute and Elmira T Flem and Gianpaolo Scalia Tomba and Giorgio Guzzetta and Birgitte Freiesleben de Blasio and Piero Manfredi}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2017} }