Zoster developed in 55 patients, and in 15, generalized disease occurred. Twelve of 14 patients with dissemination had prompt appearance of both complement-fixing (CF) antibody and fluorescent antibody against varicella-zoster (VZ) membrane antigen (FAMA). The geometric mean titers of VZ antibody from the first to the fifth and the sixth through the tenth days following onset of zoster were similar in patients with localized and generalized involvement. Two patients with disseminated zoster had undetectable CF antibody, but VZ FAMA was demonstrable. Because the clinical course of zoster appears to be unrelated to the serologic response to VZ virus, it is unlikely that administration of antibody to patients with zoster would be of benefit in this disease.
(JAMA 234:1049-1051, 1975)