SUMMARY. The virological course of herpes zoster infection in 42 otherwise normal hosts was studied by virus isolation and antibody titration. Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) was isolated from vesicle fluid from all three patients examined on the first day of the vesicular eruption and from five out of six examined on the second day. The isolation rate fell to one out of six patients on the seventh day of illness and VZV was not isolated from patients at a later stage of the illness. IgG antibodies were detected by IFAMA and ELISA, in sera from all the patients by the end of the first week of illness; IgG antibody titres were highest during the second and the third weeks. IgM antibodies to VZV were detected in sera from six of the 42 patients with herpes zoster after fractionation by ion-exchange chromatography.


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