Among patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis receiving systemic treatment, risk of herpes zoster was not significantly different between patients treated with biologics vs those not treated with biologics, according to results of a large cohort study published in JAMA Dermatology.

There was also no significant difference in herpes zoster risk between those patients receiving systemic therapy and those receiving no systemic therapy.

“Our results suggest that among systemically treated psoriasis patients, biologics may preferentially inhibit immune mechanisms specific for bacterial defense while sparing cell-mediated immune responses specific for maintaining varicella zoster virus (VZV) latency,” wrote the researchers, who included Katherine A. Levandoski, BS, Charles P. Quesenberry, PhD, Ai-Lin Tsai, MA, and Maryam M. Asgari, MD, MPH.