Chapter 3 : Viral Infections of the Central Nervous System

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Central nervous system (CNS) symptoms (headache, lethargy, impaired psychomotor performance) are frequent components of viral infections; however, viral infections of the CNS occur infrequently and most often result in relatively benign, self-limited disease. Nevertheless, these infections have tremendous importance because of their potential for causing neurologic damage and death. The CNS is exquisitely sensitive to metabolic derangements and tissue injury. Clinical recovery is slow and often incomplete (1, 2). Patient history, while frequently suggestive of a diagnosis, remains an unreliable method for determining the specific etiology of CNS disease (1, 3). Tumors, infections, and autoimmune processes in the CNS often produce similar signs and symptoms (3). Different diseases may share common pathogenic mechanisms and therefore result in a similar clinical presentation. Furthermore, understanding disease pathogenesis provides a rational basis for the development of therapeutics including antivirals and strategies for the prevention of viral CNS infections.

Citation: Cassady K, Whitley R. 2017. Viral Infections of the Central Nervous System, p 31-45. In Richman D, Whitley R, Hayden F (ed), Clinical Virology, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819439.ch3
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Image of FIGURE 1

Body surfaces as sites of virus infection and shedding.

Citation: Cassady K, Whitley R. 2017. Viral Infections of the Central Nervous System, p 31-45. In Richman D, Whitley R, Hayden F (ed), Clinical Virology, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819439.ch3
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Image of FIGURE 2

Routes of viral invasion of the central nervous system. CSF, cerebrospinal fluid.

Citation: Cassady K, Whitley R. 2017. Viral Infections of the Central Nervous System, p 31-45. In Richman D, Whitley R, Hayden F (ed), Clinical Virology, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819439.ch3
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DNA viruses: type of disease, epidemiologic data, and pathogenesis of viral infections of the CNS

Citation: Cassady K, Whitley R. 2017. Viral Infections of the Central Nervous System, p 31-45. In Richman D, Whitley R, Hayden F (ed), Clinical Virology, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819439.ch3
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RNA viruses: type of disease, epidemiologic data, and pathogenesis of viral infections of the CNS

Citation: Cassady K, Whitley R. 2017. Viral Infections of the Central Nervous System, p 31-45. In Richman D, Whitley R, Hayden F (ed), Clinical Virology, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819439.ch3
Generic image for table

RNA viruses: type of disease, epidemiologic data, and pathogenesis of viral infections of the CNS

Citation: Cassady K, Whitley R. 2017. Viral Infections of the Central Nervous System, p 31-45. In Richman D, Whitley R, Hayden F (ed), Clinical Virology, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819439.ch3
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Differential diagnosis for encephalitis and meningitis

Citation: Cassady K, Whitley R. 2017. Viral Infections of the Central Nervous System, p 31-45. In Richman D, Whitley R, Hayden F (ed), Clinical Virology, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819439.ch3

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