Viral Infections of the Central Nervous System

  • Christine C. Ginocchio


Viral infections of the central nervous system (CNS) are relatively infrequent and usually result in a benign, selflimiting disease. 1, 2, 3, 4 However, in a small percentage of cases, viral infection of the CNS can have extremely serious consequences that result in a spectrum of permanent neurologic damage or death. Viral agents gain access to the CNS by either neuronal or hematogenous spread, and infections can occur at a multitude of sites including the spinal cord, leptomeninges, dorsal nerve roots, nerves, and brain parenchyma. Viral CNS infections are classified clinically as either meningitis or encephalitis, although a close interrelationship occurs between the two disease states.1, 2, 3, 4 Host factors (age, sex, immune status, genetic differences) and viral factors (serotype, receptor preference, cell tropism, viral load) in concert with geographic and seasonal factors contribute to the potential for the development of CNS disease.1, 2, 3, 4


West Nile Virus Molecular Beacon Herpes Simplex Encephalitis Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus Arboviral Infection 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine C. Ginocchio
    • 1
  1. 1.Microbiology/Virology and Molecular DiagnosticsNorth Shore Long Island Health System LaboratoriesLake SuccessUSA

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