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Varicella zoster virus meningoencephalitis accompanied by sporadic skin lesions in an older immunocompetent adult


A previously healthy 75-year-old man complained of persistent fever, headache, nausea, mild gait disturbance, memory disorder, and sporadic vesicular skin lesions. Viral meningoencephalitis was diagnosed, based on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis. Intensive CSF analysis suggested that the patient's illness was caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV). The patient recovered completely after treatment with intravenous acyclovir. VZV infection should be considered as a possible cause of central nervous system disease, even in an immunocompetent patient. VZV reactivation was strongly suspected because of the results of anti-VZV antibody evaluations in serum and CSF, although the skin lesions were not similar to those of herpes zoster.

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Correspondence to Kota Sugisaki.

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Sugisaki, K., Yoshida, H. Varicella zoster virus meningoencephalitis accompanied by sporadic skin lesions in an older immunocompetent adult. J Infect Chemother 13, 270–272 (2007).

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Key words

  • Varicella zoster virus (VZV) Herpes zoster
  • Meningoencephalitis
  • Acyclovir
  • Elderly