Infectious causes of encephalitis and meningoencephalitis in Thailand, 2003–2005

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Abstract

Acute encephalitis is a severe neurologic syndrome. Determining etiology from among ≈100 possible agents is difficult. To identify infectious etiologies of encephalitis in Thailand, we conducted surveillance in 7 hospitals during July 2003–August 2005 and selected patients with acute onset of brain dysfunction with fever or hypothermia and with abnormalities seen on neuroimages or electroencephalograms or with cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis. Blood and cerebrospinal fluid were tested for >30 pathogens. Among 149 case-patients, median age was 12 (range 0–83) years, 84 (56%) were male, and 15 (10%) died. Etiology was confirmed or probable for 54 (36%) and possible or unknown for 95 (64%). Among confirmed or probable etiologies, the leading pathogens were Japanese encephalitis virus, enteroviruses, and Orientia tsutsugamushi. No samples were positive for chikungunya, Nipah, or West Nile viruses; Bartonella henselae; or malaria parasites. Although a broad range of infectious agents was identified, the etiology of most cases remains unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-289
Number of pages10
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Epidemiology

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