2Dermatology, Medical School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
3Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Tehran, Iran
4Gastroenterohepatology Research Center, Namazee Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Background: Varicella–zoster virus (VZV) causes herpes zoster and varicella (Chicken-pox), usually a mild disease which is diagnosed clinically with few complications. However, in neonates and healthy adults it can have a severe presentation. Herpes zoster results from VZV reactivation later in life. Objective: To determine the seroprevalence of VZV in elementary school children aged 6-10 years in Shiraz, Iran. Methods: A cross-sectional seroprevalence survey was conducted on 270 healthy subjects. All serum samples were investigated for immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody against VZV using a commercial enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: Among the studied population, 175 (64.8%) had no detectable antibody levels. The overall seroprevalence rate was 35.2%. A breakdown of seropositivity to VZV according to age was as follows; 10 years old, 50%, 9 years old, 48.2%, 8 years old, 27.3%, 7 years old, 32.1%, and 6 years old, 13.2%. Conclusion: As VZV susceptibility in the studied age groups was higher than the expected rate, therefore childhood VZV vaccination is recommended in our region.