Shingles Vaccine Antigen
A shingles vaccine initially developed at UIC by the Abbas Vafai research group has been recommended by an independent panel for approval by the FDA.
Shingles is caused by the Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV), the same virus responsible for chicken pox. Shingles, also sometimes referred to as “herpes zoster”, is a painful and debilitating skin rash with inflammation, itching and chronic pain. Shingles can be most problematic for the elderly and patients with impaired immune systems. The Centers for Disease Control state that one in three people in the U.S. will contract shingles at some point in their lifetime. Current treatments are palliative to help with pain, itching and inflammation until a Shingles episode subsides. In 2006, Merck launched the first vaccine, Zostavax®, against VZV to prevent shingles. Zostavax® is a live-attenuated virus vaccine and can become reactivated after vaccination and is reported to have limited efficacy for certain at risk patient populations. Zostaxax® is not recommended for patients who are older, immunocompromised, with AIDS, cancer, or have had organ transplants; the patients most at risk of getting shingles.