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Characteristics and outcome of varicella-zoster virus central nervous system infections in adults


We conducted an observational retrospective study of all adults hospitalized for documented varicella-zoster virus (VZV) meningitis or encephalitis during years 2000–2015 in one referral centre. Thirty-six patients (21 males, 15 females) were included, with meningitis (n = 21), or meningoencephalitis (n = 15). Median age was 51 years [interquartile range, 35–76], and 6 patients (17%) were immunocompromised. Aciclovir was started in 32 patients (89%), with a median dose of 11 mg/kg/8 h [10–15]. No patient died, but 12 (33%) had neurological sequelae at discharge. Age was the only variable associated with adverse outcome (OR 1.98 [1.17–3.35] per 10-year increment, P = 0.011).

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Correspondence to Pierre Tattevin.

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The study was approved by the Ethic Committee of Rennes University Hospital (no. 19.98).

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Le Bot, A., Ballerie, A., Pronier, C. et al. Characteristics and outcome of varicella-zoster virus central nervous system infections in adults. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 40, 2437–2442 (2021).

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  • Varicella-zoster virus
  • Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Prognosis