Zoonotic Viruses Responsible for Encephalitis: New Advanced Research

A special issue of Infectious Disease Reports (ISSN 2036-7449). This special issue belongs to the section "Viral Infections".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 8596

Special Issue Editor

Laboratory for Pathogen Discovery, Virology Department, Institut Pasteur, 28 Rue du Dr. Roux, 75015 Paris, France
Interests: virology; metagenomics; pathogen discovery; molecular diagnostics; bioinformatics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mosquitoes, ticks, bats, and dogs are species best known for transmitting viruses causing encephalitis in humans.  Old and newly discovered zoonotic viruses regularly pose a public health threat accentuated by regional disparities, variable diagnostic capabilities, and plurennial variations of pathogens prevalence. On the other hand, nearly half of all encephalitis cases, which are among the most severe conditions in infectious diseases, remain of unknown etiology even in developed countries. Innovative approaches such as metagenomics are increasingly giving rise to the discovery of new neurotropic zoonotic viruses but remain difficult to implement in developing countries.

This Special Edition of Infectious Disease Reports aims to highlight current knowledge and future perspectives on the diagnostics, discovery, surveillance, transmission, prevention, and treatment of endemic, emerging, novel, or neglected zoonotic viruses responsible for human encephalitis. Original research articles, reviews, and case reports are welcome. Interdisciplinary works integrating ecology, entomology, virology, molecular biology, metagenomics, neuropathology, imaging, structural biology, modeling, and/or infection models are particularly encouraged. Submissions related to neurological manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 are accepted.

Dr. Philippe Pérot
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • zoonotic viruses
  • encephalitis
  • emerging infectious diseases
  • diagnostic
  • discovery

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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10 pages, 712 KiB  
Article
La Crosse Virus Circulation in Virginia, Assessed via Serosurveillance in Wildlife Species
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(4), 360-369; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15040036 - 30 Jun 2023
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Abstract
Mosquito-borne La Crosse virus (LACV; family: Peribunyaviridae) is the leading cause of pediatric arboviral encephalitis in the United States, with clinical cases generally centered in the Midwest and Appalachian regions. Incidence of LACV cases in Appalachian states has increased, such that the [...] Read more.
Mosquito-borne La Crosse virus (LACV; family: Peribunyaviridae) is the leading cause of pediatric arboviral encephalitis in the United States, with clinical cases generally centered in the Midwest and Appalachian regions. Incidence of LACV cases in Appalachian states has increased, such that the region currently represents the majority of reported LACV cases in the USA. The amount of reported LACV cases from Virginia, however, is minimal compared to neighboring states such as North Carolina, West Virginia, and Tennessee, and non-Appalachian regions of Virginia are understudied. Here we examine the hypothesis that LACV is circulating widely in Virginia, despite a low clinical case report rate, and that the virus is circulating in areas not associated with LACV disease. In this study, we screened local mammalian wildlife in northwestern counties of Virginia using passive surveillance via patients submitted to wildlife rehabilitation centers. Blood sera (527 samples; 9 species, 8 genera) collected between October 2019 and December 2022 were screened for neutralizing antibodies against LACV, indicating prior exposure to the virus. We found an overall LACV seroprevalence of 1.90% among all wild mammals examined and reveal evidence of LACV exposure in several wild species not generally associated with LACV, including eastern cottontails and red foxes, along with established reservoirs, eastern gray squirrels, although there was no serological evidence in chipmunks. These data indicate the circulation of LACV in Virginia outside of Appalachian counties, however, at a lower rate than reported for endemic areas within the state and in other states. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Viruses Responsible for Encephalitis: New Advanced Research)
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8 pages, 1332 KiB  
Communication
Rabies Outbreak in the Urban Area of Delhi: An Investigation Report and One Health Perspective for Outbreak Management
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 1033-1040; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060102 - 14 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2580
Abstract
Rabies is a global problem and is endemic in India. Rabies cases occur throughout the year, and the majority of cases are associated with dog bites. We report a rabies outbreak investigation in an urban area of Delhi conducted by our multidisciplinary team, [...] Read more.
Rabies is a global problem and is endemic in India. Rabies cases occur throughout the year, and the majority of cases are associated with dog bites. We report a rabies outbreak investigation in an urban area of Delhi conducted by our multidisciplinary team, and its role in proactively controlling a rabies outbreak by concerted efforts and timely advice to various stakeholders using a “One Health Approach.” A veterinary care NGO from Delhi picked up a suspected rabid stray dog and submitted a brain sample for diagnosis of rabies, as they had received information from a resident of the locality about an unprovoked animal bite incident involving a girl (category III bite) and close contact of two more stray dogs living in the vicinity of the suspected rabid dog. The laboratory diagnosis of rabies in the suspected dog brain sample was confirmed by using Fluorescence Antibody Test (FAT). A multi-expert investigation team with expertise in medicine, microbiology, veterinary sciences, laboratory diagnosis, and public health was constituted to investigate the outbreak. The timely, adequate, and appropriate anti-rabies management initiated for the animal bite victims in this incident could prevent rabies. Proactive involvement of multiple stakeholders and knowledge attributes and practice of local residents could prevent human rabies. As there were no further reports of dog bites from the area, the chain of rabies transmission in that area could be controlled. The presented work is a classical case scenario where concerted efforts of all stakeholders achieved effective control and prevention of rabies by adopting the “One Health approach”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Viruses Responsible for Encephalitis: New Advanced Research)
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4 pages, 220 KiB  
Communication
Intravitam Diagnosis of Rabies in Patients with Acute Encephalitis: A Study of Two Cases
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 967-970; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060095 - 29 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1911
Abstract
Rabies is one of the oldest known zoonotic diseases. Rhabdovirus, an RNA virus belonging to the genus Lyssavirus and family Rhabdoviridae, causes rabies. Rabies diagnosis is challenging as the rabies virus remains confined to neurons after the initial animal bite. It largely remains [...] Read more.
Rabies is one of the oldest known zoonotic diseases. Rhabdovirus, an RNA virus belonging to the genus Lyssavirus and family Rhabdoviridae, causes rabies. Rabies diagnosis is challenging as the rabies virus remains confined to neurons after the initial animal bite. It largely remains immune-evasive until the infection reaches the central nervous system. The bottleneck in rabies diagnosis remains the non-availability of technical expertise and failure to collect an appropriate sample. The laboratory confirmation of rabies in both antemortem and postmortem samples is important. The samples were tested for anti-rabies antibodies using quantitative ELISA. In this report, two case studies are presented to demonstrate the suitability of ELISA for the intra vitam diagnosis of rabies using cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as a diagnostic sample. The interpretation of serology results for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals has been discussed in detail, which has helped to confirm the antemortem diagnosis of rabies. In this report, we observed that ELISA can be a viable alternative for anti-rabies antibody detection in CSF and can be used as a viable alternative to more technically challenging tests, such as Rapid Fluorescent Focus Inhibition Test (RFFFIT) and Immunofluorescence Assays (IFA). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Viruses Responsible for Encephalitis: New Advanced Research)

Review

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14 pages, 1623 KiB  
Review
Epidemiology and Transmission Dynamics of Viral Encephalitides in West Africa
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(5), 504-517; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15050050 - 05 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1729
Abstract
Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, often caused by an autoimmune reaction, or in most cases because of a direct viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection. Viral encephalitides (VE) presents a significant public health concern globally, especially in West Africa. There are more [...] Read more.
Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, often caused by an autoimmune reaction, or in most cases because of a direct viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection. Viral encephalitides (VE) presents a significant public health concern globally, especially in West Africa. There are more than five hundred known arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), with over a hundred of them identified to cause encephalitic diseases in humans and animals, giving rise to a tremendous burden of the diseases and socioeconomic strains in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Despite their importance, few effective preventive and control measures in the form of vaccines and therapies are available, and when they are, their use is limited. These limitations are largely hinged on the paucity of information about the molecular epidemiology and transmission patterns of VE in West Africa. Here, we reviewed the transmission dynamics, molecular epidemiology, and the ecological drivers of VE in West Africa. Collectively, timely and accurate interventions are essential for encephalitic viral disease control. Moreover, the integrated health system approach, combining surveillance, vaccination, vector control, and community engagement, could be effective in preventing viral encephalitis globally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Viruses Responsible for Encephalitis: New Advanced Research)
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