3. Neuropathy by Varicella-Zoster virus
The neurotropic human alpha-2 herpesvirus Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV) causes chickenpox during primary infection. The reactivation of VZV from its persistent state in sensory neurons induces shingles (Herpes zoster) which are characterized by severe, long-lasting pain and often lead to postherpetic neuralgia. In cooperation with Prof. Michaela Kress (Institute for Physiology, Innsbruck) we described a virus infection-related induction of noradrenaline sensitivity of sensory neurons in culture. By using recombineering techniques, we are studying recombinant herpesviruses in order to further investigate the mechanism of viral pain induction.