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Viral encephalitis caused by respiratory viruses


Viral encephalitis is a relatively rare disease but with a potentially high morbidity and mortality. Advances in the diagnostic methods can lead to the identification of a large number of viruses that can affect the central nervous system.


We conducted a retrospective, comparative survey of the pediatric cases of viral encephalitis caused by respiratory viruses that were submitted at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Prof. Dr. Matei Balş” over the last 2 years (2011-2013).


Using molecular diagnostic methods (PLEX-ID, Multiplex PCR) we identified, in the respiratory secretions and in the CSF: H1N1 influenza virus (2009), influenza AH3 virus, influenza B virus, coronavirus and adenovirus.

The most severe forms of the disease were caused by the influenza virus H1N1. There were 2 cases of encephalitis admitted with this etiology, one of which had a fatal outcome and the other progressed to neurological decline. Other cases of encephalitis, having as etiology other respiratory viruses, have evolved favorably, with full recovery without sequelae.


We emphasize the importance of using molecular diagnostic tests which can provide rapid diagnosis and lead to appropriate therapeutic strategies and epidemiological measures.

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Correspondence to Angelica Vişan.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Vişan, A., Luminos, M., Vasile, M. et al. Viral encephalitis caused by respiratory viruses. BMC Infect Dis 13 (Suppl 1), P78 (2013).

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