Severe bornavirus-encephalitis presenting as Guillain–Barré-syndrome

  • Roland Coras
  • Klaus Korn
  • Stefanie Kuerten
  • Hagen B. Huttner
  • Armin EnsserEmail author

The underlying cause of encephalitis and other inflammatory diseases of the human central nervous system remains unclear in a substantial number of cases. Not infrequently, these cases are then assigned an “autoimmune” or “probably infectious” etiology. Two species of bornaviruses are currently unequivocally associated with encephalitis in mammals including humans. Mammalian 2 orthobornavirus (variegated squirrel bornavirus, VSBV) was identified as the cause of encephalitis in breeders of imported squirrels [2]; Mammalian 1 orthobornavirus (BoDV-1 and -2) is the agent of zoonotic borna disease, an encephalitic disease characterized by disturbances of behavior and movements in warm-blooded animals [4] that is most often diagnosed in horses and sheep. Recently, we detected BoDV-1 as the cause of fatal encephalitis in a previously healthy young man [3], and it was found in a cluster of encephalitic disease in organ recipients that received organs of a single donor from southern Bavaria [6...



We like to thank Dr. Sybille M. Herzog, Gießen, Germany, for providing the Bo18 antibody and Doris Jungnickl, Brigitte Scholz, and Andrea Hilpert for excellent technical assistance. Research was done with internal funds, and in part by programme overhead financing related to Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Grant EN423/5-1 to Dr. Ensser.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Virology, University Hospital ErlangenFriedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU)ErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Neuropathology, University Hospital ErlangenFriedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU)ErlangenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Neurology, University Hospital ErlangenFriedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU)ErlangenGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Anatomy, Department of Anatomy and Cell BiologyFriedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU)ErlangenGermany

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