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Home Topics Infectious Diseases Infections A-Z Shingles (Varicella Zoster)

Shingles (Varicella Zoster)

intranuclear inclusions produced by varicella in tissue culture

Shingles (also called herpes zoster) is an infection of a nerve and the area of skin around it. It is caused by the herpes varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox.  

Following chickenpox infection, the virus can lie dormant in the nervous tissue but may reappear following reactivation as shingles It is not known what causes the virus to reactivate but reactivation is usually associated with conditions that depress the immune system such as old age, immunosuppressive therapy and HIV infection. It is possible to have shingles more than once.