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Slow and Persistent Viral Infections

  • Alfred S. Evans
Chapter
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Abstract

There are two types of viral infections that bring about chronic, progressive, and usually fatal diseases involving the central nervous system (CNS). Each of them poses problems in meeting the postulates of causation thus far discussed. One type is caused by a unique group of viruses with no detectable immune response. These viruses are called “slow viruses” or “lentiviruses” because of the long period between exposure and the appearance of clinical disease, which presumably reflects the primary incubation or multiplication time for the agents. The second type of infection is caused by a group of several common and ubiquitous viruses that affect the brain several years after the primary infection and that are associated with an aberrant immune response. The two groups will be discussed separately because they require different criteria to establish a causal relationship between the virus and the disease. Certain members of the retrovirus family that bear a molecular resemblance to some of the slow viruses of animals are suspected of causing chronic infections of the CNS in humans. There are also several chronic and progressive diseases of the CNS in which a viral etiology is suspected, among which is multiple sclerosis.

Keywords

Multiple Sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis Patient Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy Measle Virus Demyelinating Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfred S. Evans
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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