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Radiographics. 2019 Oct;39(6):1649-1671. doi: 10.1148/rg.2019190020.

Neuroimaging of Emergent and Reemergent Infections.

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From the Department of Neuroradiology, A Beneficência Portuguesa de São Paulo, R. Maestro Cardim 769, São Paulo, SP 01323-001, Brazil.


Infectious diseases emerge and reemerge over the years, and many of them can cause neurologic disease. Several factors contribute to the emergence and reemergence of these conditions, including human population growth, an increase in international travel, the geographic expansion of recognized pathogens to areas where they were previously nonendemic, and greater contact with wild animal reservoirs. The antivaccination social movement has played an important role in the reemergence of infectious diseases, especially some viral conditions. The authors review different viral (arboviruses such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus; enterovirus 71; measles; and influenza), bacterial (syphilis, Lyme disease, and listeriosis), and parasitic (Chagas disease) diseases, focusing primarily on their neurologic complications. Although there are several additional infectious diseases with central nervous system manifestations that could be classified as emergent or reemergent, those listed here are the most relevant from an epidemiologic standpoint and are representative of important public health issues on all continents. The infections caused by these pathogens often show a variety of neuroimaging patterns that can be identified at CT and MRI, and radiology is central to the diagnosis and follow-up of such conditions. Given the increasing relevance of emerging and reemerging infections in clinical practice and public health scenarios, radiologists should be familiar with these infections. Online supplemental material is available for this article. ©RSNA, 2019.


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