Journal Article

Influenza Encephalopathy Associated with Infection with Human Herpesvirus 6 and/or Human Herpesvirus 7

Norio Sugaya, Tetsushi Yoshikawa, Masaru Miura, Takehiro Ishizuka, Chiharu Kawakami and Yoshizo Asano

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 34, issue 4, pages 461-466
Published in print February 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online February 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/338468
Influenza Encephalopathy Associated with Infection with Human Herpesvirus 6 and/or Human Herpesvirus 7

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Influenza-associated encephalopathy is often reported in young Japanese children, but its pathogenesis is unknown. Although influenza virus can be demonstrated by throat culture for patients with encephalopathy, cultures of samples of cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) do not yield the virus. Eight patients with encephalopathy or complicated febrile convulsions had influenza virus infection diagnosed by means of culture, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), or rapid diagnosis using throat swabs. In all 8 cases, the results of PCR testing of CSF specimens for influenza virus were negative. On the other hand, human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) DNA was demonstrated in CSF specimens obtained from 2 of 8 patients. In 3 of 8 patients, the presence of human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) DNA was demonstrated in CSF specimens. Some cases of influenza-associated encephalopathy reported in Japan may be attributable to a dual infection with influenza virus and HHV-6, -7, or both. Another possibility is that latent HHV-6 or HHV-7 in the brain is reactivated by influenza, causing encephalopathy or febrile convulsions.

Journal Article.  4106 words.  Illustrated.

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

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