Sunday, September 11, 2022

History of varicella infection and the vaccines

Varicella is an acute infectious disease caused by varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The first description of varicella infection on record was made by the Italian scientist Giovanni Filippo during the 1500s.

In 1875, Rudolf Steiner confirmed that chicken pox was contagious by using the vesicular fluid from varicella blister of a patient and using it on volunteers. The volunteer then contracted varicella which prove his finding.

It was not until 1888, that a relationship between herpes zoster and varicella was suggested. The relationship between varicella and herpes Zoster was noticed by man named von Bokay, when he realized a child had gotten varicella after being in contact with someone who had herpes zoster.

In 1954, Thomas Weller used cell culture to isolate VZV from vesicular fluid of patients with varicella or zoster.

The complete DNA sequence of VZV was established in 1986. The first live vaccine for Varicella virus was developed in Japan in 1970.

The vaccine virus was developed from virus isolated by Michiaki Takahashi from vesicular fluid from an otherwise healthy child with varicella disease. The virus used for this vaccine was named the Oka strain after the family name of the child.

Varicella vaccine was licensed for general use in Japan and Korea in 1988, and in the United States in 1995 for persons age 12 months or older.

Since its introduction in 1995 in United States, the varicella vaccine has resulted in a decrease in the number of cases and complications from the disease.
History of varicella infection and the vaccines

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