Journal Article

Rotavirus and Central Nervous System Symptoms: Cause or Contaminant? Case Reports and Review

Lynch Maureen, Lee Brian, Azimi Parvin, Jon Gentsch, Carol Glaser, Sabrina Gilliam, Hwa-Gan H. Chang, Richard Ward and Roger I. Glass

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 33, issue 7, pages 932-938
Published in print October 2001 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2001 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/322650
Rotavirus and Central Nervous System Symptoms: Cause or Contaminant? Case Reports and Review

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Rotavirus is a common cause of severe gastroenteritis in children. In 2 patients with rotavirus gastroenteritis who developed encephalopathy, rotavirus RNA was detected in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by reverse transcription—polymerase chain reaction; in 1 patient, rotavirus RNA was detected on 2 occasions 3 weeks apart. There are increasing reports of cases in which patients who have seizures after an episode of rotavirus diarrhea have evidence of rotavirus in their CSF. A search of 2 large hospital discharge databases suggested that seizures are noted as part of the discharge diagnosis in the records of, at most, <4% of patients with rotavirus diarrhea versus 7% of patients with bacterial diarrhea. Although evidence suggesting that rotavirus is a cause of central nervous system sequelae remains inconclusive, the 2 case reports presented in this study further illustrate a possible association. Further study is required to determine whether detection of rotavirus in CSF represents a true pathogen, CSF contamination that occurs at the time of lumbar puncture or in the laboratory, or carriage of rotavirus RNA in trafficking lymphocytes.

Journal Article.  4077 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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