Atypical varicella-zoster infection in AIDS.
Løkke Jensen B, Weismann K, Mathiesen L, Klem Thomsen H.
A case of atypical varicella zoster in a 33-year-old AIDS patient is reported. The patient had had two attacks of herpes zoster within a year and was given high-dose acyclovir several times. Thereafter he developed small keratotic pellucid papules on fingers, wrists and face, which were found to contain varicella-zoster antigen by the ELISA test. Skin biopsy showed acanthosis and lack of vesication, as is usually seen in herpes infections. The atypical varicella-like lesions persisted despite repeated doses of acyclovir but cleared temporarily when the patient was given foscarnet. We believe that the prolonged therapy may have allowed selection of acyclovir-resistant varicella-zoster strains, resulting in the atypical clinical course.