Meningitis caused by the live varicella vaccine virus: Metagenomic next generation sequencing, immunology exome sequencing and cytokine multiplex profiling

Prashanth S. Ramachandran, Michael R. Wilson, Gaud Catho, Geraldine Blanchard-Rohner, Nicoline Schiess, Randall J. Cohrs, David Boutolleau, Sonia Burrel, Tetsushi Yoshikawa, Anne Wapniarski, Ethan H. Heusel, John E. Carpenter, Wallen Jackson, Bradley A. Ford, Charles Grose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Varicella vaccine meningitis is an uncommon delayed adverse event of vaccination. Varicella vaccine meningitis has been diagnosed in 12 children, of whom 3 were immunocompromised. We now report two additional cases of vaccine meningitis in twice-immunized immunocompetent children and we perform further testing on a prior third case. We used three methods to diagnose or investigate cases of varicella vaccine meningitis, none of which have been used previously on this disease. These include metagenomic next-generation sequencing and cytokine multiplex profiling of cerebrospinal fluid and immunology exome analysis of white blood cells. In one new case, the diagnosis was confirmed by metagenomic next-generation sequencing of cerebrospinal fluid. Both varicella vaccine virus and human herpesvirus 7 DNA were detected. We performed cytokine multiplex profiling on the cerebrospinal fluid of two cases and found ten elevated biomarkers: interferon gamma, interleukins IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-17F, chemokines CXCL-9, CXCL-10, CCL-2, and G-CSF. In a second new case, we performed immunology exome sequencing on a panel of 356 genes, but no errors were found. After a review of all 14 cases, we concluded that (i) there is no common explanation for this adverse event, but (ii) ingestion of an oral corticosteroid burst 3–4 weeks before onset of vaccine meningitis may be a risk factor in some cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2286
JournalViruses
Volume13
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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