HIV infection can result in stroke via several mechanisms, including opportunistic infection, vasculopathy, cardioembolism, and coagulopathy. However, the occurrence of stroke and HIV infection might often be coincidental. HIV-associated vasculopathy describes various cerebrovascular changes, including stenosis and aneurysm formation, vasculitis, and accelerated atherosclerosis, and might be caused directly or indirectly by HIV infection, although the mechanisms are controversial. HIV and associated infections contribute to chronic inflammation. Combination antiretroviral therapies (cART) are clearly beneficial, but can be atherogenic and could increase stroke risk. cART can prolong life, increasing the size of the ageing population at risk of stroke. Stroke management and prevention should include identification and treatment of the specific cause of stroke and stroke risk factors, and judicious adjustment of the cART regimen. Epidemiological, clinical, biological, and autopsy studies of risk, the pathogenesis of HIV-associated vasculopathy (particularly of arterial endothelial damage), the long-term effects of cART, and ideal stroke treatment in patients with HIV are needed, as are antiretrovirals that are without vascular risk.
We aimed to audit the regional management of central nervous system (CNS) infection in children.
The study was undertaken in five district general hospitals and one tertiary paediatric hospital in the Mersey region of the UK. Children admitted to hospital with a suspected CNS infection over a three month period were identified. Children were aged between 4 weeks and 16 years old. Details were recorded from the case notes and electronic records. We measured the appropriateness of management pathways as outlined by national and local guidelines.
Sixty-five children were identified with a median age of 6 months (range 1 month to 15 years). Ten had a CNS infection: 4 aseptic meningitis, 3 purulent meningitis, 3 encephalitis [2 with herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1]. A lumbar puncture (LP) was attempted in 50 (77%) cases but only 43 had cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) available for analysis. Of these 24 (57%) had a complete standard set of tests performed. Fifty eight (89%) received a third generation cephalosporin. Seventeen (26%) also received aciclovir with no obvious indication in 9 (53%). Only 11 (65%) of those receiving aciclovir had CSF herpes virus PCR. Seventeen had cranial imaging and it was the first management step in 14. Treatment lengths of both antibiotics and aciclovir were highly variable: one child with HSV encephalitis was only treated with aciclovir for 7 days.
The clinical management of children with suspected CNS infections across the Mersey region is heterogeneous and often sub-optimal, particularly for the investigation and treatment of viral encephalitis. National guidelines for the management of viral encephalitis are needed.
Encephalitis; Meningitis; Central nervous system infection; Aciclovir; Lumbar puncture
Dengue viruses (DENV) cause countless human deaths each year, whilst West Nile virus (WNV) has re-emerged as an important human pathogen. There are currently no WNV or DENV vaccines licensed for human use, yet vaccines exist against other flaviviruses. To investigate flavivirus cross-reactivity, sera from a human cohort with a history of vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and yellow fever virus (YFV) were tested for antibodies by plaque reduction neutralization test. Neutralization of louping ill virus (LIV) occurred, but no significant neutralization of Murray Valley encephalitis virus was observed. Sera from some individuals vaccinated against TBEV and JEV neutralized WNV, which was enhanced by YFV vaccination in some recipients. Similarly, some individuals neutralized DENV-2, but this was not significantly influenced by YFV vaccination. Antigenic cartography techniques were used to generate a geometric illustration of the neutralization titres of selected sera against WNV, TBEV, JEV, LIV, YFV and DENV-2. This demonstrated the individual variation in antibody responses. Most sera had detectable titres against LIV and some had titres against WNV and DENV-2. Generally, LIV titres were similar to titres against TBEV, confirming the close antigenic relationship between TBEV and LIV. JEV was also antigenically closer to TBEV than WNV, using these sera. The use of sera from individuals vaccinated against multiple pathogens is unique relative to previous applications of antigenic cartography techniques. It is evident from these data that notable differences exist between amino acid sequence identity and mapped antigenic relationships within the family Flaviviridae.
Mortality from adult bacterial meningitis exceeds 50% in sub-Saharan Africa. We postulated that—particularly in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)—herpes simplex virus, varicella zoster virus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contribute to poor outcome. CSF from 149 Malawian adults with bacterial meningitis and 39 controls were analyzed using polymerase chain reaction. EBV was detected in 79 of 149 bacterial meningitis patients. Mortality (54%) was associated with higher CSF EBV load when adjusted for HIV (P = .01). CMV was detected in 11 of 115 HIV-infected patients, 8 of whom died. The mechanisms by which EBV and CMV contribute to poor outcome require further investigation.
Acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) is commonly seen among hospitalized Nepali children. Japanese Encephalitis (JE) accounts for approximately one-quarter of cases. Although poor prognostic features for JE have been identified, and guide management, relatively little is reported on the remaining three-quarters of AES cases.
Children with AES (n = 225) were identified through admission records from two hospitals in Kathmandu between 2006 and 2008. Patients without available lumbar puncture results (n = 40) or with bacterial or plasmodium infection (n = 40) were analysed separately. The remaining AES patients with suspected viral aetiology were classified, based on positive IgM antibody in serum or cerebral spinal fluid, as JE (n = 42) or AES of unknown viral aetiology (n = 103); this latter group was sub-classified into Non-JE (n = 44) or JE status unknown (n = 59). Bad outcome was defined as death or neurological sequelae at discharge.
AES patients of suspected viral aetiology more frequently had a bad outcome than those with bacterial or plasmodium infection (31% versus 13%; P = 0.039). JE patients more frequently had a bad outcome than those with AES of unknown viral aetiology (48% versus 24%; P = 0.01). Bad outcome was independently associated in both JE and suspected viral aetiology groups with a longer duration of fever pre-admission (P = 0.007; P = 0.002 respectively) and greater impairment of consciousness (P = 0.02; P < 0.001). A higher proportion of JE patients presented with a focal neurological deficit compared to patients of unknown viral aetiology (13/40 versus 11/103; P = 0.005). JE patients weighed less (P = 0.03) and exhibited a higher respiratory rate (P = 0.003) compared to Non-JE patients.
Nepali children with AES of suspected viral aetiology or with JE frequently suffered a bad outcome. Despite no specific treatment, patients who experienced a shorter duration of fever before hospital admission more frequently recovered completely. Prompt referral may allow AES patients to receive potentially life-saving supportive management. Previous studies have indicated supportive management, such as fluid provision, is associated with better outcome in JE. The lower weight and higher respiratory rate among JE patients may reflect multiple clinical complications, including dehydration. The findings suggest a more systematic investigation of the influence of supportive management on outcome in AES is warranted.
The mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) causes encephalitis in man but not in pigs. Complete genomes of a human, mosquito and pig isolate from outbreaks in 1982 and 1985 in Thailand were sequenced with the aim of identifying determinants of virulence that may explain the differences in outcomes of JEV infection between pigs and man. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that five of these isolates belonged to genotype I, but the 1982 mosquito isolate belonged to genotype III. There was no evidence of recombination among the Thai isolates, but there were phylogenetic signals suggestive of recombination in a 1994 Korean isolate (K94P05). Two sites of the genome under positive selection were identified: codons 996 and 2296 (amino acids 175 of the non-structural protein NS1 and 24 of NS4B, respectively). A structurally significant substitution was seen at NS4B position 24 of the human isolate compared with the mosquito and pig isolates from the 1985 outbreak in Thailand. The potential importance of the two sites in the evolution and ecology of JEV merits further investigation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00705-011-1143-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
To investigate whether uncharacterized infectious agents were associated with neurologic disease, we analyzed cerebrospinal fluid specimens from 12 children with acute central nervous system infection. A high-throughput pyrosequencing screen detected human parvovirus 4 DNA in cerebrospinal fluid of 2 children with encephalitis of unknown etiology.
viruses; human parvovirus; high throughput sequencing; PARV4; encephalitis; epidemiology; pediatrics; children; India; dispatch
To identify potential environmental drivers of Japanese Encephalitis virus (JE) transmission in Nepal, we conducted an ecological study to determine the spatial association between 2005 Nepal JE incidence, and climate, agricultural, and land-cover variables at district level.
District-level data on JE cases were examined using Local Indicators of Spatial Association (LISA) analysis to identify spatial clusters from 2004 to 2008 and 2005 data was used to fit a spatial lag regression model with climate, agriculture and land-cover variables.
Prior to 2006, there was a single large cluster of JE cases located in the Far-West and Mid-West terai regions of Nepal. After 2005, the distribution of JE cases in Nepal shifted with clusters found in the central hill areas. JE incidence during the 2005 epidemic had a stronger association with May mean monthly temperature and April mean monthly total precipitation compared to mean annual temperature and precipitation. A parsimonious spatial lag regression model revealed, 1) a significant negative relationship between JE incidence and April precipitation, 2) a significant positive relationship between JE incidence and percentage of irrigated land 3) a non-significant negative relationship between JE incidence and percentage of grassland cover, and 4) a unimodal non-significant relationship between JE Incidence and pig-to-human ratio.
JE cases clustered in the terai prior to 2006 where it seemed to shift to the Kathmandu region in subsequent years. The spatial pattern of JE cases during the 2005 epidemic in Nepal was significantly associated with low precipitation and the percentage of irrigated land. Despite the availability of an effective vaccine, it is still important to understand environmental drivers of JEV transmission since the enzootic cycle of JEV transmission is not likely to be totally interrupted. Understanding the spatial dynamics of JE risk factors may be useful in providing important information to the Nepal immunization program.
Recent outbreaks of enterovirus in Southeast Asia emphasize difficulties in diagnosis of this infection. To address this issue, we report 5 (4.7%) children infected with enterovirus 75 among 106 children with acute encephalitis syndrome during 2005–2007 in southern India. Throat swab specimens may be useful for diagnosis of enterovirus 75 infection.
Enterovirus 75; viruses; encephalitis; children; diagnostics; India; dispatch
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is the most important form of viral encephalitis in Asia. Surveillance for the disease in many countries has been limited. To improve collection of accurate surveillance data in order to increase understanding of the full impact of JE and monitor control programs, World Health Organization (WHO) Recommended Standards for JE Surveillance have been developed. To aid acceptance of the Standards, we describe the process of development, provide the supporting evidence, and explain the rationale for the recommendations made in the document.
A JE Core Working Group was formed in 2002 and worked on development of JE surveillance standards. A series of questions on specific topics was initially developed. A literature review was undertaken and the findings were discussed and documented. The group then prepared a draft document, with emphasis placed on the feasibility of implementation in Asian countries. A field test version of the Standards was published by WHO in January 2006. Feedback was then sought from countries that piloted the Standards and from public health professionals in forums and individual meetings to modify the Standards accordingly.
After revisions, a final version of the JE surveillance standards was published in August 2008. The supporting information is presented here together with explanations of the rationale and levels of evidence for specific recommendations.
Provision of the supporting evidence and rationale should help to facilitate successful implementation of the JE surveillance standards in JE-endemic countries which will in turn enable better understanding of disease burden and the impact of control programs.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne alphavirus best known for causing fever, rash, arthralgia, and occasional neurologic disease. By using real-time reverse transcription–PCR, we detected CHIKV in plasma samples of 8 (14%) of 58 children with suspected central nervous system infection in Bellary, India. CHIKV was also detected in the cerebrospinal fluid of 3 children.
chikungunya virus; central nervous system viral diseases; polymerase chain reaction; incidence; Japanese encephalitis vaccines; encephalitis; Japanese; dispatch
Human enterovirus 71 (HEV71) can cause Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) with neurological complications, which may rapidly progress to fulminant cardiorespiratory failure, and death. Early recognition of children at risk is the key to reduce acute mortality and morbidity.
We examined data collected through a prospective clinical study of HFMD conducted between 2000 and 2006 that included 3 distinct outbreaks of HEV71 to identify risk factors associated with neurological involvement in children with HFMD.
Total duration of fever ≥ 3 days, peak temperature ≥ 38.5°C and history of lethargy were identified as independent risk factors for neurological involvement (evident by CSF pleocytosis) in the analysis of 725 children admitted during the first phase of the study. When they were validated in the second phase of the study, two or more (≥ 2) risk factors were present in 162 (65%) of 250 children with CSF pleocytosis compared with 56 (30%) of 186 children with no CSF pleocytosis (OR 4.27, 95% CI2.79–6.56, p < 0.0001). The usefulness of the three risk factors in identifying children with CSF pleocytosis on hospital admission during the second phase of the study was also tested. Peak temperature ≥ 38.5°C and history of lethargy had the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of 28%(48/174), 89%(125/140), 76%(48/63) and 50%(125/251), respectively in predicting CSF pleocytosis in children that were seen within the first 2 days of febrile illness. For those presented on the 3rd or later day of febrile illness, the sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV of ≥ 2 risk factors predictive of CSF pleocytosis were 75%(57/76), 59%(27/46), 75%(57/76) and 59%(27/46), respectively.
Three readily elicited clinical risk factors were identified to help detect children at risk of neurological involvement. These risk factors may serve as a guide to clinicians to decide the need for hospitalization and further investigation, including cerebrospinal fluid examination, and close monitoring for disease progression in children with HFMD.
Recurrent myositis triggered by infections is unusual, with only one other case reporting two attacks described in the literature.
We report the case of a 24-year-old Caucasian woman with recurrent myositis triggered by sore throat, respiratory and urinary tract infections, over the past 18 years, up to four times a year. Myositis of this frequency and duration, apparently triggered by infections, has not been reported previously.
We believe that this case adds to the understanding of myositis associated with infections being a triggered autoimmune response, and postulate that the pathogenesis in our patient is a non-specific immune response to a range of different precipitants, both bacterial and viral.
As part of efforts to control Japanese encephalitis (JE), the World Health Organization is producing a set of standards for JE surveillance, which require the identification of patients with acute encephalitis syndrome (AES). This review aims to provide information to determine what minimum annual incidence of AES should be reported to show that the surveillance programme is active.
A total of 12,436 articles were retrieved from 3 databases; these were screened by title search and duplicates removed to give 1,083 papers which were screened by abstract (or full paper if no abstract available) to give 87 papers. These 87 were reviewed and 25 papers identified which met the inclusion criteria.
Case definitions and diagnostic criteria, aetiologies, study types and reliability varied among the studies reviewed. Amongst prospective studies reviewed from Western industrialised settings, the range of incidences of AES one can expect was 10.5–13.8 per 100,000 for children. For adults only, the minimum incidence from the most robust prospective study from a Western setting gave an incidence of 2.2 per 100,000. The incidence from the two prospective studies for all age groups was 6.34 and 7.4 per 100,000 from a tropical and a Western setting, respectively. However, both studies included arboviral encephalitis, which may have given higher rather than given higher] incidence levels.
In the most robust, prospective studies conducted in Western industrialised countries, a minimum incidence of 10.5 per 100,000 AES cases was reported for children and 2.2 per 100,000 for adults. The minimum incidence for all ages was 6.34 per 100,000 from a tropical setting. On this basis, for ease of use in protocols and for future WHO surveillance standards, a minimum incidence of 10 per 100,000 AES cases is suggested as an appropriate target for studies of children alone and 2 per 100,000 for adults and 6 per 100,000 for all age groups.
Human enterovirus 71 and coxsackievirus A16 are important causes of hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD). Like other enteroviruses, they can be isolated from a range of sterile and nonsterile sites, but which clinical sample, or combination of samples, is the most useful for laboratory diagnosis of HFMD is not clear. We attempted virus culture for 2,916 samples from 628 of 725 children with HFMD studied over a 3 1/2-year period, which included two large outbreaks. Overall, throat swabs were the single most useful specimen, being positive for any enterovirus for 288 (49%) of 592 patients with a full set of samples. Vesicle swabs were positive for 169 (48%) of 333 patients with vesicles, the yield being greater if two or more vesicles were swabbed. The combination of throat plus vesicle swabs enabled the identification of virus for 224 (67%) of the 333 patients with vesicles; for this patient group, just 27 (8%) extra patients were diagnosed when rectal and ulcer swabs were added. Of 259 patients without vesicles, use of the combination of throat plus rectal swab identified virus for 138 (53%). For 60 patients, virus was isolated from both vesicle and rectal swabs, but for 12 (20%) of these, the isolates differed. Such discordance occurred for just 11 (10%) of 112 patients with virus isolated from vesicle and throat swabs. During large HFMD outbreaks, we suggest collecting swabs from the throat plus one other site: vesicles, if these are present (at least two should be swabbed), or the rectum if there are no vesicles. Vesicle swabs give a high diagnostic yield, with the added advantage of being from a sterile site.
In a malaria-endemic area of Africa, rabies was an important cause of fatal central nervous system infection, responsible for 14 (10.5%) of 133 cases. Four patients had unusual clinical manifestations, and rabies was only diagnosed postmortem. Three (11.5%) of 26 fatal cases were originally attributed to cerebral malaria.
Rabies; central nervous system infection; Malaria; zoonosis; dispatch
Since it emerged in Japan in the 1870s, Japanese encephalitis has spread across Asia and has become the most important cause of epidemic encephalitis worldwide. Four genotypes of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) are presently recognized (representatives of genotypes I to III have been fully sequenced), but its origin is not known. We have determined the complete nucleotide and amino acid sequence of a genotype IV Indonesian isolate (JKT6468) which represents the oldest lineage, compared it with other fully sequenced genomes, and examined the geographical distribution of all known isolates. JKT6468 was the least similar, with nucleotide divergence ranging from 17.4 to 19.6% and amino acid divergence ranging from 4.7 to 6.5%. It included an unusual series of amino acids at the carboxy terminus of the core protein unlike that seen in other JEV strains. Three signature amino acids in the envelope protein (including E327 Leu→Thr/Ser on the exposed lateral surface of the putative receptor binding domain) distinguished genotype IV strains from more recent genotypes. Analysis of all 290 JEV isolates for which sequence data are available showed that the Indonesia-Malaysia region has all genotypes of JEV circulating, whereas only more recent genotypes circulate in other areas (P < 0.0001). These results suggest that JEV originated from its ancestral virus in the Indonesia-Malaysia region and evolved there into the different genotypes which then spread across Asia. Our data, together with recent evidence on the origins of other emerging viruses, including dengue virus and Nipah virus, imply that tropical southeast Asia may be an important zone for emerging pathogens.
The use of the lumbar puncture in the diagnosis of central nervous system infection in acutely ill children is controversial. Recommendations have been published but it is unclear whether they are being followed.
The medical case notes of 415 acute medical admissions in a children's hospital were examined to identify children with suspected central nervous system infection and suspected meningococcal septicaemia. We determined whether lumbar punctures were indicated or contraindicated, whether they had been performed, and whether the results contributed to the patients' management.
Fifty-two children with suspected central nervous system infections, and 43 with suspected meningococcal septicaemia were identified. No lumbar punctures were performed in patients with contraindications, but only 25 (53%) of 47 children with suspected central nervous system infection and no contraindications received a lumbar puncture. Lumbar puncture findings contributed to the management in 18 (72%) of these patients, by identifying a causative organism or excluding bacterial meningitis.
The recommendations for undertaking lumbar punctures in children with suspected central nervous system infection are not being followed because many children that should receive lumbar punctures are not getting them. When they are performed, lumbar puncture findings make a useful contribution to the patients' management.
A new commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the diagnosis of Japanese encephalitis virus infections showed a sensitivity of 88% with sera and 81% with cerebrospinal fluid and a specificity of 97% with sera from patients with primary and secondary dengue virus infections. Specificity was 100% when samples from nonflavivirus infections were tested.
The performances of the MRL dengue fever virus immunoglobulin M
(IgM) capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the PanBio
Dengue Duo IgM capture and IgG capture ELISA were compared. Eighty sera
from patients with dengue virus infections, 24 sera from patients with
Japanese encephalitis (JE), and 78 sera from patients with
nonflavivirus infections, such as malaria, typhoid, leptospirosis, and
scrub typhus, were used. The MRL test showed superior sensitivity for
dengue virus infections (94 versus 89%), while the PanBio test showed
superior specificity for JE (79 versus 25%) and other infections (100
versus 91%). The PanBio ELISA showed better overall performance,
as assessed by the sum of sensitivity and specificity
(F value). When dengue virus and nonflavivirus
infections were compared, F values of 189 and 185 were
obtained for the PanBio and MRL tests, respectively, while when dengue
virus infections and JE were compared, F values of 168 and
119 were obtained. The results obtained with individual sera in the
PanBio and MRL IgM ELISAs showed good correlation, but this analysis
revealed that the cutoff value of the MRL test was set well below that
of the PanBio test. Comparing the sensitivity and specificity of the
tests at different cutoff values (receiver-operator analysis) revealed
that the MRL and PanBio IgM ELISAs performed similarly in
distinguishing dengue virus from nonflavivirus infections, although the
PanBio IgM ELISA showed significantly better distinction between dengue
virus infections and JE. The implications of these findings for the
laboratory diagnosis of dengue are discussed.
Japanese encephalitis (JE) occurs in rural settings in southern and eastern Asia, where diagnostic facilities are limited. For the diagnosis of JE virus (JEV) infection, we developed a nitrocellulose membrane-based immunoglobulin M (IgM) capture dot enzyme immunoassay (MAC DOT) that is rapid, simple to use, requires no specialized equipment, and can distinguish JEV from dengue infection. In a prospective field study in southern Vietnam, 155 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and 341 serum samples were collected from 111 children and 83 adults with suspected encephalitis. The JEV MAC DOT, performed on site, was scored visually from negative to strongly positive by two observers, and the results were compared subsequently with those of the standard IgM capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. For the 179 patients with adequate specimens, the MAC DOT correctly identified 59 of 60 JEV-positive patients and 118 of 119 JEV-negative patients (sensitivity [95% confidence intervals], 98.3% [92.1 to 99.9%]; specificity, 99.2% [95.9 to 100.0%]; positive predictive value, 0.98; negative predictive value, 0.99). The MAC DOT also correctly identified three patients with dengue encephalopathy. Admission specimens were positive for 73% of JE patients. Interobserver agreement for MAC DOT diagnosis was excellent (kappa = 0.94). The JEV MAC DOT is a simple and reliable rapid diagnostic test for JE in rural hospitals.