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Nat Med. 1995 Mar;1(3):232-6.

Borna disease virus genome transcribed and expressed in psychiatric patients.

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Department of Virology, Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany.


Borna disease virus (BDV) is a neurotropic, negative and single-stranded enveloped RNA virus that persistently infects various domestic animal species. Infection causes disturbances in behaviour and cognitive functions, but can also lead to a fatal neurologic disease. Human infections seemed likely, since serum antibodies were detected in neuropsychiatric patients. Further proof came from our discovery that peripheral blood monocytes carry viral antigens. Here, we present the first data on different viral genomic transcripts in such patients' cells as well as sequence data of transcripts. Both viral markers seem to coincide with acute episodes of mood disorders, thus pointing to a new human virus infection possibly threatening mental health.

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