Emerging epidemic viral encephalitides with a special focus on henipaviruses

Wong, Kum Thong (2010) Emerging epidemic viral encephalitides with a special focus on henipaviruses. Acta Neuropathologica, 120 (3). pp. 317-325. ISSN 0001-6322, DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s00401-010-0720-z.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00401-010-0720-z


In the last few decades, there is an increasing emergence and re-emergence of viruses, such as West Nile virus, Enterovirus 71 and henipaviruses that cause epidemic viral encephalitis and other central nervous system (CNS) manifestations. The mortality and morbidity associated with these outbreaks are significant and frequently severe. While aspects of epidemiology, basic virology, etc., may be known, the pathology and pathogenesis are often less so, partly due to a lack of interest among pathologists or because many of these infections are considered "third world" diseases. In the study of epidemic viral encephalitis, the pathologist's role in unravelling the pathology and pathogenesis is critical. The novel henipavirus infection is a good example. The newly created genus Henipavirus within the family Paramyxoviridae consists of two viruses, viz., Hendra virus and Nipah virus. These two viruses emerged in Australia and Asia, respectively, to cause severe encephalitides in humans and animals. Studies show that the pathological features of the acute encephalitis caused by henipaviruses are similar and a unique dual pathogenetic mechanism of vasculitis-induced microinfarction and parenchymal cell infection in the CNS (mainly neurons) and other organs causes severe tissue damage. Both viruses can cause relapsing encephalitis months and years after the acute infection due to a true recurrent infection as evidenced by the presence of virus in infected cells. Future emerging viral encephalitides will no doubt continue to pose considerable challenges to the neuropathologist, and as the West Nile virus outbreak demonstrates, even economically advanced nations are not spared.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. wongkt@um.edu.my
Uncontrolled Keywords: Vasculitis; Encephalitis; West Nile Virus; Japanese Encephalitis Virus; Viral Encephalitis
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RB Pathology
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Mr. Faizal Hamzah
Date Deposited: 25 May 2011 02:47
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2019 09:03
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/1341

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