, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 397-407
Date: 26 May 2012

The Pathogenesis and Prevention of Encephalitis due to Human Enterovirus 71

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Human enterovirus 71 (HEV71) has emerged as a major cause of viral encephalitis in Southeast Asia, with increased epidemic activity observed since 1997. This is reflected in a large increase in scientific publications relating directly to HEV71. New research is elucidating details of the viral life cycle, confirming similarities between HEV71 and other enteroviruses. Scavenger receptor B2 (SCARB2) is a receptor for HEV71, although other receptors are likely to be identified. Currently, the only strategies to prevent HEV71-associated disease are early diagnosis and aggressive supportive management of identified cases. As more information emerges regarding the molecular processes of HEV71 infection, further advances may lead to the development of effective antiviral treatments and ultimately a vaccine-protection strategy. The protective efficacies of several inactivated HEV71 vaccines have been confirmed in animal models, suggesting that an effective vaccine may become available in the next decade.