Age- and gender-matched children undergoing minor elective surgery and without immunosuppression were recruited as healthy controls in one centre. They were distributed Selleck BAY 73-4506 among four quartiles based on the age of the HIV-infected children (A1, <8.2 years; A2, 8.2–11.5 years; A3, 11.5–15.5
years; A4, >15.5 years). Patients in the three groups (and/or their legal guardians) provided written consent for the use of these samples and their medical data. All data were analysed anonymously. Immunization against VZV was not recommended during the study period. To identify risk factors for the waning of VZV antibodies, we compared initially VZV-positive HIV-infected children who had waning VZV antibodies with age-matched HIV-infected children who had protective VZV antibodies in all available
samples. This study was approved by the institutional Ethics Committee in all centres, and by the scientific boards of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) and MoCHiV. All serum samples were obtained between January 1997 and October 2008. Measurement of anti-VZV IgG antibodies was performed in the Laboratoire de Vaccinologie (University Hospitals of Geneva) using an ‘in-house’ enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)  which AZD4547 in vivo compared favourably with the Virion® commercial kit (Virion Servion, Würzburg, Germany) (data not shown). To maximize the sensitivity of the assay, 96-well plates [Nunc Maxisorp (C), Nunc AS, Roskilde, Denmark] were coated with a lectin affinity purified VZV glycoprotein
(East Coast Bio, North Berwick, ME, USA). Eight serial serum dilutions were incubated prior to the successive addition of biotin-conjugated goat anti-human IgG antibody (anti-human IgG biotin; Sigma, St Louis, MO), horseradish peroxidase streptavidin (HRP-streptavidin conjugate; Zymed, San Francisco, CA), and 2,2′-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS; Roche Diagnostics, Rotkreuz, Switzerland) substrate. Optical densities (ODs) were read at 405 nm and analysed by comparison to a standard curve included in each plate (SoftMaxPro software, version 5, Molecular Devices Inc, Sunnyvale, CA, USA). Results were compared with two reference sera: an National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) standard [World Health Organization (WHO) international standard; 50 IU/L] and a standard from Merck (Whitehouse Station, NJ, Protein tyrosine phosphatase USA), calibrated in VZV glycoprotein (VZV-gp) units, previously used in vaccine efficacy studies . The cut-off of the assay (30 IU/L) was defined conservatively as the mean plus two standard deviations of 72 negative samples. Results below this cut-off were arbitrarily given a value of 15 IU/L. Including both standards in a large number of assays, we established that in our assay a titre of 5 VZV-gp units/mL (suggested as a putative protective threshold following immunization ) corresponded to 33.1 IU/L of the WHO international standard (not shown).