Fatal encephalitis due to novel paramyxovirus transmitted from horses

Osullivan, JD, Allworth, AM, Paterson, DL, Snow, TM, Boots, R, Gleeson, LJ, Gould, AR, Hyatt, AD and Bradfield, J (1997) Fatal encephalitis due to novel paramyxovirus transmitted from horses. Lancet, 349 9045: 93-95. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(96)06162-4


Author Osullivan, JD
Allworth, AM
Paterson, DL
Snow, TM
Boots, R
Gleeson, LJ
Gould, AR
Hyatt, AD
Bradfield, J
Title Fatal encephalitis due to novel paramyxovirus transmitted from horses
Journal name Lancet   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0140-6736
1474-547X
Publication date 1997-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/S0140-6736(96)06162-4
Volume 349
Issue 9045
Start page 93
End page 95
Total pages 3
Place of publication London, England
Publisher Lancet Publishing Group.
Language eng
Subject 1103 Clinical Sciences
Formatted abstract
Background:
In September, 1994, an outbreak of severe respiratory disease affected 18 horses, their trainer, and a stablehand in Queensland, Australia. Fourteen horses and one human being died. A novel virus was isolated from those affected and named equine morbillivirus (EMV). We report a case of encephalitis caused by this virus.

Findings:
A 35-year-old man from Queensland had a brief aseptic meningitic illness in August, 1994, shortly after caring for two horses that died from EMV infection and then assisting at their necropsies. He then suffered severe encephalitis 13 months later, characterised by uncontrolled focal and generalised epileptic activity. Rising titres of neutralising antibodies to EMV in the patient's serum at the time of the second illness suggested an anamnestic response. Distinctive cortical changes were shown on magnetic resonance neuroimaging and histopathological examination of the brain at necropsy. Immunohistochemistry and electronmicroscopy of brain tissue revealed pathology characteristic of the earlier cases of EMV infection. PCR on cerebrospinal fluid taken during the second illness, brain tissue, and serum retained from the original illness resulted in an amplified product identical to that previously described from EMV.

Interpretation:
The results of serology, PCR, electronmicroscopy, and immunohistochemistry strongly suggest that EMV was the cause of this patient's encephalitis, and that exposure to the virus occurred 3 months before the fatal illness.
Keyword Morbillivirus
Humans
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 07 Sep 2010, 17:05:06 EST