, Volume 160, Issue 6, pp 351-358

Human herpes virus type 7 DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid of children with central nervous system diseases

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Abstract

Human herpes virus type 7 (HHV-7) has been associated with unspecific febrile syndrome, exanthem subitum (ES), viral rashes and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) like syndrome. Neurological complications such as hemiplegia or seizures have been described in a few children with ES. Whether HHV-7 may also affect the CNS in the absence of ES is unknown. In this study, we investigated CSF samples from children with different neurological diseases for the presence of HHV-7 specific DNA. A HHV-7 specific nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was established amplifying a 478 bp DNA sequence of the glycoprotein U23 of HHV-7 strain SB. 68 children with CNS diseases with inflammatory CSF findings (n=24), CNS diseases without inflammatory CSF findings (n=18) and febrile seizures (n=26) were examined. A total of 26 children with infectious diseases in the absence of neurological disease and 11 children without signs of a peripheral infection and without neurological disease served as controls. The CSF samples of six children from the study groups were HHV-7 PCR positive, but none from the controls. These children were diagnosed with aseptic meningitis (n=1), viral encephalitis/meningoencephalitis (n=2), facial palsy (n=1), vestibular neuritis (n=1) and febrile seizure (n=1).

Conclusion These results indicate that human herpes virus type 7 infection is associated with central nervous system disease in children and should be considered in children whether inflammation in the cerebrospinal fluid is present or not.

Received: 4 September 2000 and in revised form: 2 December and 23 December 2000 /  Accepted: 27 December 2000