"Dormant" virus, chicken pox, Shingles, vaccination - confused

In summary: Although HHV-6 is less pathogenic than other human herpesviruses, it can cause a number of diseases in humans. HHV-6 is the most common cause of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection in the...world. HHV-6 infections during fetal development can lead to microcephaly, a condition in which the head and brain are smaller than normal.
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symbolipoint
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Not understand vaccination for Shingles, and the chicken pox virus can hide-out in the nerves
I tried a web search but how this immunity stuff works with chicken pox, shingles, and the vaccination I cannot understand.

Person can suffer chicken pox infection from the virus, recover, and later be vaccinated (at least age 50) with Shingrix vaccination, to be protected. But the virus is still in the nerves, so seems to be much too late to benefit from the vaccination. "Dormant" virus in the nerves, I do not either understand. Also, if the Shingrix vaccination does create immunity, should this mean that the person's immune system now will destroy the virus, regardless if dormant or not?
 
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  • #2
symbolipoint said:
Summary:: Not understand vaccination for Shingles, and the chicken pox virus can hide-out in the nerves

I tried a web search but how this immunity stuff works with chicken pox, shingles, and the vaccination I cannot understand.

Person can suffer chicken pox infection from the virus, recover, and later be vaccinated (at least age 50) with Shingrix vaccination, to be protected. But the virus is still in the nerves, so seems to be much too late to benefit from the vaccination. "Dormant" virus in the nerves, I do not either understand. Also, if the Shingrix vaccination does create immunity, should this mean that the person's immune system now will destroy the virus, regardless if dormant or not?
I think that ,since the virus is dormant,the immune system is unprepared for its re emergence.The aim of the vaccine ,presumably is to prepare the immune system ahead of any such re emergence.

It is ,in my opinion very unlikely to eradicate the virus in the places that it has been hiding but it should be successful (I hope so anyway) in training the body to destroy it where it has re emerged into to main areas in the body.

I have had shingles twice but have not been vaccinated yet.

I am not sure how effective a vaccine it is and I doubt it is as effective as the Covid vaccine for example.
 
  • #3
Shingrix is a recombinant-DNA vaccine that replaced Zostavax, which is a live vaccine that was taken off the market in 2020.

It is highly effective, and it is recommended by NIH and CDC for all persons over 50 years old.

It is currently available at pharmacies without prescription, and almost all health insurance plans cover it.

If you're over 50, please get Shingrix, and don't get shingles.
 
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  • #4
sysprog said:
If you're over 50, please get Shingrix, and don't get shingles.
It being effective when once the person had Chicken Pox is what I cannot understand. @geordiaf tried to explain, but maybe someone who has more targeted understanding could explain better.
 
  • #5
When you get chicken pox as a kid, you get sick with the typical symptoms of chicken pox.
Your immune system responds and makes antibodies against the chicken pox virus.
You recover and have immunity to further chicken pox virus attacks for several years.
However, in some people, some of virus copies get inserted into the genomes of neurons and just sit there, as DNA sequences.
The virus disappears from your body, other than being in your neurons.
No antibodies are interacting with the virus at this point.

Why neurons? Neurons are post-mitotic. Once formed, they don't divide. Maybe that kind of cell nucleus is a good environment for the viruses to just hang out in.
For some reason, in some people the chicken pox virus gets reactivated and causes a different set of symptoms (why?). Stress has been suggested as a possible cause.
Apparently the immunity from the initial chicken pox infection has worn off (or does not affect the neuron emitted version), and the virus can proliferate (or at least infect) when it comes out of the nerves.
Shingles can have weird patterns on the skin. I think this is supposed to have something to do with which nerves are releasing virus and what is that nerves innervation patterns in the body.

I don't think the Shingrix vaccine is used to immunize children for chick pox.
There may be some difference in the targeting strategy involved in making the vaccination.
 
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If a person who comes into contact with active shingles lesions gets infected from them, he'll get chicken pox, not shingles.
 
  • #7
Bill Tre said:
Why neurons? Neurons are post-mitotic. Once formed, they don't divide. Maybe that kind of cell nucleus is a good environment for the viruses to just hang out in.
Most virii, including herpes zoster, are not inserted into chromosomes, and so can be eliminated by mitosis. As you said, neurons do not undergo mitosis., which is why the virus can stay in them.

A possible exception to the non-invasion of chromosomes rule is HHV-6 (the roseola virus) ##-## from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100308151055.htm:

Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infects nearly 100 percent of humans in early childhood , and the infection then lasts for the rest of a person's life. Now, a team led by Peter Medveczky, MD, a professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of South Florida (USF), has discovered that in some individuals, HHV-6 causes such a permanent infection by inserting or "integrating" its DNA into human chromosomes. From this harbor, the viral DNA cannot be eliminated by the immune system.​
 
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sysprog said:
If a person who comes into contact with active shingles lesions gets infected from them, he'll get chicken pox, not shingles.
I read that recently in one of the online articles.
 
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Good informative discussion!
 
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I am guessing that while the chickpx virus is hiding, your immunity system has the chance to work with the vaccines (dose 1 and dose 2) to help in case the virus decides to come out from hiding, so preventing the virus from giving disease symptoms (Shingles). That's about as much as I can understand.
 
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You have enough immunity to keep h. zoster from re-inflicting chicken pox, but your aging immune system may not on its own continue to prevent it from re-emerging as shingles, and the Shingrix vaccine bestirs it to regain its full ability to keep the virus at bay.
 
  • #12
I am guessing that while the chickpx virus is hiding, your immunity system has the chance to work with the vaccines (dose 1 and dose 2) to help in case the virus decides to come out from hiding, so preventing the virus from giving disease symptoms (Shingles). That's about as much as I can understand.
sysprog said:
You have enough immunity to keep h. zoster from re-inflicting chicken pox, but your aging immune system may not on its own continue to prevent it from re-emerging as shingles, and the Shingrix vaccine bestirs it to regain its full ability to keep the virus at bay.
Thanks for everybody who explained this.
 
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  • #13
symbolipoint said:
I am guessing that while the chickpx virus is hiding, your immunity system has the chance to work with the vaccines (dose 1 and dose 2) to help in case the virus decides to come out from hiding, so preventing the virus from giving disease symptoms (Shingles). That's about as much as I can understand.

Thanks for everybody who explained this.
Your own explanation was pretty good in my view. :smile:
 

Related to "Dormant" virus, chicken pox, Shingles, vaccination - confused

1. What is a "dormant" virus?

A "dormant" virus is a virus that is present in the body but is not actively replicating or causing symptoms. It can remain in a dormant state for extended periods of time and may never cause any noticeable symptoms.

2. Is chicken pox a dormant virus?

Yes, chicken pox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which can remain dormant in the body after the initial infection. It can later reactivate and cause a condition known as shingles.

3. What is the difference between chicken pox and shingles?

Chicken pox is a highly contagious viral infection that causes itchy blisters all over the body. Shingles, on the other hand, is a painful rash that occurs when the varicella-zoster virus reactivates in the body, usually in people who have had chicken pox before.

4. Can you get shingles if you have had the chicken pox vaccine?

It is possible to get shingles even if you have had the chicken pox vaccine. However, the vaccine can reduce the risk of developing shingles and can also help make the symptoms less severe if you do get it.

5. Why is there confusion about vaccination for chicken pox and shingles?

There may be confusion about vaccination for chicken pox and shingles because the chicken pox vaccine was not widely available until the late 1990s, and many people who are now adults may not have received it. Additionally, there are different recommendations for shingles vaccination based on age and underlying health conditions, leading to confusion about who should get vaccinated and when.

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