Herpesvirus encephalitis

Nicholas L. King, Karen Roos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Herpes infections were first recognized in ancient Greece. Hippocrates and other scholars described the skin lesions of the herpes simplex viruses (HSVs) as herpein meaning to creep or crawl. The herpes family of viruses is ubiquitous and the lifetime risk of acquiring a herpesvirus approaches 100%. Acute infections cause a myriad of clinical syndromes and vary depending on the type of virus, but rarely cause encephalitis. The herpesviruses establish latency in the nervous system and may reactivate causing various clinical syndromes, including encephalitis. The risk of reactivation and subsequent encephalitis increases with age and immunosuppression. The herpesviruses are the most commonly identified etiologic agents of acute viral encephalitis in the western hemisphere (1-4). Additionally, HSV type 1 is the most common fatal cause of acute viral encephalitis (5).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncephalitis
Subtitle of host publicationDiagnosis and Treatment
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781420013979
ISBN (Print)9780849340314
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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