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14-06-2018 | Rheumatology | News | Article

EULAR 2018 in brief

Herpes zoster vaccine shows potential in SLE patients

medwireNews: A live attenuated herpes zoster vaccination is well tolerated and elicits an antibody response among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), results of a placebo-controlled trial suggest.

“This is the first randomised controlled trial to study the shingles vaccine in individuals with SLE,” said study lead Chi-Chiu Mok (University of Hong Kong) in a press release.

A total of 21 adverse events, none of which were serious, were reported in the 45 patients who were randomly assigned to receive the live attenuated vaccine (Zostavax®), compared with six in the 45 participants given placebo. Injection site pain and erythema occurred significantly more frequently in the vaccine than control group, at 31% versus 7%, but all cases were mild and resolved in a few days.

Mok and team found that average anti-varicella zoster immunoglobulin (Ig)G titers increased by 59.8% from baseline to week 6 among patients given the vaccine, but decreased by 2.1% in the placebo group.

Commenting on these study results, Thomas Dörner (Charité University Hospitals, Berlin, Germany) said: “It has been shown that this is an effective vaccination strategy against herpes zoster, at least when using IgG titers as a surrogate.”

He added that “we need to see how this turns out in preventing the reactivation of herpes zoster in clinical practice.”

The study results were presented at the EULAR 2018 meeting in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2018 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group