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Ann Biol Clin (Paris). 2016 Jan-Feb;74(1):55-67. doi: 10.1684/abc.2015.1109.

[Viral infections of human central nervous system].

[Article in French]

Author information

Sorbonne Universités, UPMC, CIMI-Paris UMRS CR7, Équipe 1 PVI, Paris, France, Inserm, CIMI-Paris U1135, Paris, France, Service de virologie, Hôpitaux universitaires Pitié Salpêtrière-Charles Foix, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France.


The viruses that can infect the central nervous system of humans are numerous and form a heterogeneous group with respect to their structural, functional and epidemiological properties. The pathophysiological mechanisms leading to associated neurological diseases, mainly meningitis and encephalitis, also are complex and often intertwined. Overall, neurological clinical symptoms correspond either to acute viral diseases associated with primary infections or to acute, subacute or chronic diseases associated with persistent viral infections. The frequent severity of the clinical situation requires in all cases the practice of virological diagnosis for which the PCR techniques applied to cerebrospinal fluid samples occupy a prominent place. The severity of clinical manifestations justifies the use of prophylactic vaccination when available and antiviral treatment as soon as the causative virus is identified or suspected.


PCR; antiviral chemotherapy; encephalitis; meningitis; vaccine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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