New viral infections of the nervous system have been appearing with great regularity. Some result from the evolution of new agents and others from the entry of viruses into new hosts or environments. The emergence of neurovirulent enteroviruses causing a paralytic poliomyelitis syndrome and rhomboencephalitis represent the evolution of new human viruses. Most emerging viral infections represent movement of an agent into new geographic areas or across species barriers. The transport of neurovirulent strains of West Nile virus into the Western Hemisphere and the penetration of Nipah virus, a newly recognized paramyxovirus, across species barriers from bat to pig to man are examples that are highlighted in this review. The burgeoning human population and the speed and frequency of travel favor the evolution, preservation, and spread of new viral agents.
This is a preview of subscription content,to check access.
Access this article
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1999a). Outbreak of Hendra-like virus—Malaysia and Singapore, 1998–1999. Morb Mort Wkly Rep 48: 265–269.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1999b). Update: outbreak of Nipah virus—Malaysia and Singapore, 1999. Morb Mort Wkly Rep 48: 335–337.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2000). Update: West Nile virus activity—Eastern United States, 2000. Morb Mort Wkly Rep 49: 1044–1047.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2002a). West Nile virus activity—United States, 2001. Morb Mort Wkly Rep 51: 497–501.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2002b). West Nile virus activity—United States, October 10–16, 2002, and update on West Nile virus infections in recipients of blood transfusions, 2002. Morb Mort Wkly Rep 51: 929–931.
Chowers MY, Lang R, Nassar F, Ben-David D, Giladi M, Rubinshtein E, Itzhaki A, Mishal J, Siegman-Igra Y, Kitzes R, Pick N, Landau Z, Wolf D, Bin H, Mendelson E, Pitlik SD, Weinberger M (2001). Clinical characteristics of the West Nile fever outbreak, Israel, 2000. Emerg Infect Dis 7: 675–678.
Chua KB, Bellini WJ, Rota PA, Harcourt BH, Tamin A, Lam SK, Ksiazek TG, Rollin PE, Zaki SR, Shieh W-J, Goldsmith CS, Gubler DJ, Roehrig JT, Eaton B, Gould AR, Olson J, Field H, Daniels P, Ling AE, Peters CJ, Anderson LJ, Mahy BW (2000a). Nipah virus: a recently emergent deadly paramyxovirus. Science 288: 1432–1435.
Chua KB, Goh KJ, Wong KT, Kamarulzaman A, Tan PS, Ksiazek TG, Zaki SR, Paul G, Lam SK, Tan CT (1999). Fatal encephalitis due to Nipah virus among pig-farmers in Malaysia. Lancet 354: 1257–1259.
Chua KB, Koh CL, Hooi PS, Wee KF, Khong JH, Chua BH, Chan YP, Lim ME, Lam SK (2002). Isolation of Nipah virus from Malaysian Island flying-foxes. Microbes Infect 4: 145–151.
Chua KB, Lam SK, Tan CT, Hooi PS, Goh KJ, Chew NK, Tan KS, Kamarulzaman A, Wong KT (2000b). High mortality in Nipah encephalitis is associated with presence of virus in cerebrospinal fluid. Ann Neurol 48: 802–805.
Chumakov M, Voroshilova M, Shindarov L, Lavrova I, Gracheva L, Koroleva G, Vasilenko S, Brodvarova I, Nikolova M, Gyurova S, Gacheva M, Mitov G, Ninov N, Tsylka E, Robinson I, Frolova M, Bashkirtsev V, Martiyanova L, Rodin V. (1979). Enterovirus 71 isolated from cases of epidemic poliomyelitis-like disease in Bulgaria. Arch Virol 71: 329–340.
Fine A, Layton M (2001). Lessons from the West Nile viral encephalitis outbreak in New York City, 1999: implications for bioterrorism preparedness. Clin Infect Dis 32: 277–282.
Garmendia AE, Van Kruiningen HJ, French RA, Anderson JF, Andreadis TG, Kumar A, West AB (2000). Recovery and identification of West Nile virus from a hawk in winter. J Clin Microbiol 38: 3110–3111.
Georges AJ, Lesbordes JL, Georges-Courbot MC, Meunier DMY, Gonzalez JP (1987). Fatal hepatitis from West Nile virus. Ann Inst Pateur/Virol 138: 237–244.
George S, Gourie-Devi M, Rao JA, Prasad SR, Pavri KM (1984). Isolation of West Nile virus from the brains of children who had died of encephalitis. Bull World Health Org 62: 879–882.
Glass JD, Samuels O, Rich MD (2002) Poliomyelitis due to West Nile virus. N Engl J Med 347: 1280–1281.
Goh KJ, Tan CT, Chew NK, Tan PS, Kamarulzaman A, Sarji SA, Wong KT, Abdullah BJ, Chua KB, Lam SK (2000). Clinical features of Nipah virus encephalitis among pig farmers in Malaysia. N Engl J Med 342: 1229–1235.
Gubler DJ, Campbell GL, Nasci R, Komar N, Petersen L, Roehrig JT (2000). West Nile virus in the United States: guidelines for detection, prevention, and control. Viral Immunol 13: 469–475.
Le Guenno B, Bougermouh A, Azzam T, Bouakaz R (1996). West Nile: a deadly virus? Lancet 348: 1315.
Haldar NR, Dasgupta K, Khandelwal AK, Haldar N, Banerjee S, Das S, Chakraborty S (2001). First epidemic of viral encephalitis in 2001 of highly infectious nature with fading mortality at Siliguri. J Neurol Sci 187(Suppl 1): S121.
Harcourt BH, Tamin A, Ksiazek TG, Rollin PE, Anderson LJ, Bellini WJ, Rota PA (2000). Molecular characterization of Nipah virus, a newly emergent Paramyxovirus. Virology 271: 334–349.
Hashimoto I, Hagiwara A (1983). Comparative studies on the neurovirulence of temperature-sensitive and temperature-resistant viruses of enterovirus 71 in monkeys. Acta Neuropathol 60: 266–270.
Ho M, Chen E-R, Hsu K-H, Twu S-J, Chen K-T, Tsai S-F, Wang J-R, Shih S-R (1999). An epidemic of enterovirus 71 infection in Taiwan. N Engl J Med 341: 9–935.
Huang CC, Liu CC, Chang YC, Chen CY, Wang ST, Yeh TF (1999). Neurologic complications in children with enterovirus 71 infection. N Engl J Med 341: 936–942.
Hubalek Z, Halouzka J (1999). West Nile fever—a reemerging mosquito-borne viral disease in Europe. Emerg Infect Dis 5: 643–650.
Johnson KP, Lepow ML, Johnson RT (1968). California encephalitis. I. Clinical and epidemiological studies. Neurology 18: 250–254.
Johnson RT (1990). Arboviral encephalitis. In: Tropical and geographical medicine. Warren KS, Mahmoud AAF (eds). New York: McGraw-Hill, pp 691–699.
Johnson RT (1994). Emerging infections of the nervous system. J Neurol Sci 124: 3–14.
Johnson RT (1996). Emerging viral infections. Arch Neurol 53: 18–22.
Johnson RT (1998). Viral infections of the nervous system, 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Raven-Lippincott.
Johnson RT, Irani DN (2002). West Nile virus encephalitis in the United States. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 2: 496–500.
Kono R, Sasagawa A, Kodama H, Uchida N, Akao Y, Mukoyama J, Fujiwara T (1973). Neurovirulence of acute-haemorrhagic-conjunctivitis virus in monkeys. Lancet 13: 61–63.
Lanciotti RS, Roehrig JT, Deubel V, Smith J, Parker M, Steele K, Crise B, Volpe KE, Crabtree MB, Scherret JH, Hall RA, MacKenzie JS, Cropp CB, Panigrahy B, Ostlund E, Schmitt B, Malkinson M, Banet C, Weissman J, Komar N, Savage HM, Stone W, McNamara T, Gubler DJ (1999). Origin of the West Nile virus responsible for an outbreak of encephalitis in the northeastern United States. Science 286: 2333–2337.
Lederberg J, Shope RE, Oaks SC (1992). Emerging infection: microbial threats to health in the United States. Washington DC: National Academy Press.
Lee KE, Umapathi T, Tan CB, Tjia HT, Chua TS, Oh HM, Fock KM, Kurup A, Das A, Tan AK, Lee WL (1999). The neurological manifestations of Nipah virus encephalitis, a novel paramyxovirus. Ann Neurol 46: 428–432.
Leis AA, Stokic DS, Polk JL, Dostrow V, Winkelmann M (2002). A poliomyelitis-like syndrome from West Nile infection. N Engl J Med 347: 1279–1280.
Li HC, Fujiyoshi T, Lou H, Yashiki S, Sonoda S, Cartier L, Nunez L, Munoz I, Horai S, Tajima K. (1999). The presence of ancient human T-cell lymphotropic type I provirus DNA in an Andean mummy. Nat Med 5: 1428–1432.
Lim CC, Lee KE, Lee WL, Tambyah PA, Lee CC, Sitoh YY, Auchus AP, Lin BK, Hui F (2002). Nipah virus encephalitis: serial MR study of an emerging disease. Radiology 222: 219–226.
Lum LC, Wong KT, Lam SK, Chua KB, Goh AY, Lim WL, Ong BB, Paul G, AbuBakar S, Lambert M (1998). Fatal enterovirus 71 encephalomyelitis. J Pediatr 133: 795–798.
Marberg K, Goldblum N, Sterk VV, Jasinska-Klingberg W, Klingberg MA (1956). The natural history of West Nile fever: clinical observations during an epidemic in Israel. Am J Hyg 64: 259–269.
Melnick JL, Paul JR, Riordan JT, Barnett VH, Goldblum N, Zabin E (1951). Isolation from human sera in Egypt of a virus apparently identical to West Nile virus. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 77: 661–665.
Mostashari F, Bunning ML, Kitsutani PT, Singer DA, Nash D, Cooper MJ, Katz N, Liljebjelke KA, Biggerstaff BJ, Fine AD, Layton MC, Mullin SM, Johnson AJ, Martin DA, Hayes EB, Campbell GL (2001). Epidemic West Nile encephalitis, New York, 1999: results of a household-based seroepidemiological survey. Lancet 358: 261–264.
Murray K, Selleck P, Hooper P, Hyatt A, Gould A, Gleeson L, Westbury H, Hiley L, Selvey L, Rodwell B, Ketterer P (1995). A morbillivirus that caused fatal disease in horses and humans. Science 268: 94–97.
Nasci RS, Savage HM, White DJ, Miller JR, Cropp BC, Godsey MS, Kerst AJ, Bennett P, Gottfried K, Lanciotti RS (2001). West Nile virus in overwintering Culex mosquitoes, New York City, 2000. Emerg Infect Dis 7: 742–744.
Nash D, Mostashari F, Fine A, Miller J, O’Leary D, Murray K, Huang A, Rosenberg A, Greenberg A, Sherman M, Wong S, Layton M (2001). The outbreak of West Nile virus infection in the New York City area in 1999. N Engl J Med 344: 1807–1814.
O’Sullivan JD, Allworth AM, Paterson DL, Snow TM, Boots R, Gleeson LJ, Gould AR, Hyatt AD, Bradfield J (1997). Fatal encephalitis due to novel paramyxovirus transmitted from horses. Lancet 349: 93–95.
Platonov AE, Shipulin GA, Shipulina OY, Tyutyunnik EN, Frolochkina TI, Lanciotti RS, Yazyshina S, Platonova OV, Obukhov IL, Zhukov AN, Vengerov YY, Pokrovskii VI (2001). Outbreak of West Nile virus infection, Volgograd Region, Russia, 1999. Emerg Infect Dis 7: 128–132.
Pruzanski W, Altman R (1962). Encephalitis due to West Nile fever virus. World Neurol 3: 524–527.
Salas R, de Manzione N, Tesh RB, Rico-Hesse R, Shope RE, Betancourt A, Godoy O, Bruzual R, Pacheco ME, Ramos B, Taibo ME, Tamayo JG, Jaimes E, Vasquez C, Araoz F, Querales J (1991). Venezuelan haemorrhagic fever. Lancet 338: 1033–1036.
Shieh WJ, Guarner J, Layton M, Fine A, Miller J, Nash D, Campbell GL, Roehrig JT, Gubler DJ, Zaki SR (2000). The role of pathology in an investigation of an outbreak of West Nile encephalitis in New York, 1999. Emerg Infect Dis 6: 370–372.
Smithburn KC, Hughes TP, Burke AW, Paul JH (1940). A neurotropic virus isolated from the blood a native of Uganda. Am J Trop Med Hyg 20: 471–492.
Southam CM, Moore AE (1954). Induced virus infections in man by the Egypt isolates of West Nile virus. Am J Trop Med Hyg 3: 19–50.
Steele KE, Linn MJ, Schoepp RJ, Komar N, Geisbert TW, Manduca RM, Calle PP, Raphael BL, Clippinger TL, Larsen T, Smith J, Lanciotti RS, Panella NA, McNamara TS (2000). Pathology of fatal West Nile virus infections in native and exotic birds during the 1999 outbreak in New York City, New York. Vet Pathol 37: 208–224.
Tan CT, Goh KJ, Wong KT, Sarji SA, Chua KB, Chew NK, Murugasu P, Loh YL, Chong HT, Tan KS, Thayaparan T, Kumar S, Jusoh MR (2002). Relapsed and late-onset Nipah encephalitis. Ann Neurol 51: 703–708.
Tsai TF, Popovici F, Cernescu C, Campbell GL, Nedelcu NI (1998). West Nile encephalitis epidemic in southeastern Romania. Lancet 352: 767–771.
Wadia NH, Katrak SM, Misra VP, Wadia PN, Miyamura K, Hashimoto K, Ogino T, Hikiji T, Kono R (1983). Polio-like motor paralysis associated with acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis in an outbreak in 1981 in Bombay, India: clinical and serologic studies. J Infect Dis 147: 660–668.
Wilson ME (1995). Travel and the emergence of infectious diseases. Emerg Infect Dis 1: 39–46.
Wong KT (2000). Emerging and re-emerging epidemic encephalitis: a tale of two viruses. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 26: 313–318.
Work TH, Hurlbut HS, Taylor RM (1955). Indigenous wild birds of the Nile delta as potential West Nile virus circulating reservoirs. Am J Trop Med Hyg 4: 872–888.
Yin-Murphy M (1984). Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis. Prog Med Virol 29: 23–44.
About this article
Cite this article
Johnson, R.T. Emerging viral infections of the nervous system. Journal of NeuroVirology 9, 140–147 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1080/13550280390194091