To define further the antigenic relationship between human varicella-zoster virus and herpesviruses which produce varicella-like disease in certain simian species, patas monkeys were inoculated with varicella-zoster virus and then challenged with Delta herpesvirus, which uniformly produces severe, clinically apparent disease in susceptible animals. Protection against Delta herpesvirus was conferred both by hyperimmunization with varicella-zoster virus and by a single immunization with a cell-free preparation of varicella-zoster virus. Although the immunological relationship between the human and simian varicella viruses is not completely reciprocal, these studies confirmed that antigens which induce immunity are shared by the human and simian viruses. No clinical symptoms were seen in monkeys inoculated with varicella-zoster virus, but the rapid and marked antibody responses to the virus suggested that subclinical infection had occurred. In contrast, a chimpanzee inoculated with one of the same varicella-zoster virus preparations produced only low levels of antibody.


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