Immunopathogenesis of Borna Disease

Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 190)


Diseases of the central nervous system are fearsome conditions due to their deleterious effects on physical and mental functions. In addition to acute diseases caused by viruses and bacteria infecting the meninges and the brain, disturbances of motility, disorders in sensory functions, behavioral abnormalities, personality changes and chronic debility and dementia can be long-lasting consequences after infection of the central nervous system (CNS) by well known microbes. Furthermore, yet unknown mechanisms or uncharacterized agents may induce CNS diseases. Pathological alterations linked to viruses or virus-like agents, such as the demonstration of HIV-1 antigen in the brains of patients suffering from dementia, have stimulated great public interest in this field (Price and Brew 1988; Price et al. 1988). This concern is fueled further by the recent appearance of “mad-cow disease” in milk and meat producing cattle caused by an unidentified “Scrapie agent” (Hope et al. 1988). The recent discussions on whether the latter disease can be transmitted to humans by consumption of food products from infected cattle (Wilesmith et al. 1988) are validated by the demonstration of transmission of the human spongiform encephalopathy, Creutzfeldt-Jakob-Scheinker syndrome or Kuru-Kuru, after transplantation of tissue from infected donors or by cannibalism of afflicted human victims of this syndrome (Gajdusek and Gibbs 1971; Duffy et al. 1974; Manuelidis and Manuelidis 1988).


Delay Type Hypersensitivity Reaction Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis Encephalitic Lesion Perivascular Inflammatory Reaction Meat Produce Cattle 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für VirologieJustus-Liebig-UniversitätGießenGermany
  2. 2.Center for Neurovirology, Dept. of Microbiology and ImmunologyThomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.School of Medicine, Division of Infectious DiseasesThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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