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Virologica Sinica, 33 (5) : 402, 2018
Research Article
Detection of EBV and HHV6 in the Brain Tissue of Patients with Rasmussen’s Encephalitis
1 Department of Neurosurgery, Sanbo Brain Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100093, China
2 Department of Microbiology, School of Basic Medical Science, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China
3 Department of Neurosurgery, Xuanwu Hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing 100053, China
4 Beijing Key Laboratory of Epilepsy, Beijing 100093, China
5 Center of Epilepsy, Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders, Beijing 100093, China
 Correspondence: anjing@ccmu.edu.cn;luangm3@163.com
(716.56KB)  
Abstract
Rasmussen's encephalitis (RE) is a rare pediatric neurological disorder, and the exact etiology is not clear. Viral infection may be involved in the pathogenesis of RE, but conflicting results have reported. In this study, we evaluated the expression of both Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpes virus (HHV) 6 antigens in brain sections from 30 patients with RE and 16 control individuals by immunohistochemistry. In the RE group, EBV and HHV6 antigens were detected in 56.7% (17/ 30) and 50% (15/30) of individuals, respectively. In contrast, no detectable EBV and HHV6 antigen expression was found in brain tissues of the control group. The co-expression of EBV and HHV6 was detected in 20.0% (6/30) of individuals. In particular, a 4-year-old boy had a typical clinical course, including a medical history of viral encephalitis, intractable epilepsy, and hemispheric atrophy. The co-expression of EBV and HHV6 was detected in neurons and astrocytes in the brain tissue, accompanied by a high frequency of CD8+ T cells. Our results suggest that EBV and HHV6 infection and the activation of CD8+ T cells are involved in the pathogenesis of RE.
Received: 24 Jun 2018  Accepted: 10 Oct 2018  Published online: 29 Oct 2018
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