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Suid herpesvirus type 1 (SHV1) is a type of neurotropic virus able to infect various species. However, the clinical cases of human SHV1 encephalitis are still rarely reported, and the clinical characteristics, treatment, and prognosis of human SHV1 encephalitis are still unclear. In this study, we reported 2 cases of human encephalitis associated with SHV1 infection and reviewed the other 18 cases from the literatures. A total of 20 cases with human SHV1 encephalitis were summarized and re-analyzed. Nineteen of 20 patients had a history of swine-related occupational exposure before illness onset. All patients initially presented with influenza-like symptoms and then developed seizures, disturbed consciousness, and endophthalmitis. All patients with clinical outcome of modified Rankin Scale of 5 or 6 suffered from rapid progressive respiratory failure. The results of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) indicated aseptic or viral infection. MRI findings of SHV1 encephalitis were prone to distribute in temporal-frontal and insular cortex, which was similar to the pattern of herpes simplex virus encephalitis, while some cases with involvements of gray matter nuclei had a high rate of mortality. Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) revealed that all patients had unique SHV1 sequences with variable reads in the CSF. The variant SHV1 can cause a new type of human viral encephalitis, characterized by acute, fulminating, and catastrophic central nervous system infection. Rapid progressive respiratory failure and extensive lesions of deep gray matter nuclei might be indicators to poor prognosis. No approved treatments for the encephalitis are available, but it is possible to diagnose encephalitis quickly by mNGS. © 2021. Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia.


Yiyi Zhou, Chong Nie, Han Wen, Yong Long, Meihong Zhou, Zunchun Xie, Daojun Hong. Human viral encephalitis associated with suid herpesvirus 1. Neurological sciences : official journal of the Italian Neurological Society and of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology. 2022 Apr;43(4):2681-2692

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PMID: 34647219

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