Viral Encephalitis: Etiology, Clinical Features, Diagnosis and Management


Viral encephalitis is worldwide spread pathology with high morbidity and mortality. Its incidence is higher in children. Enteroviruses, varicella zoster virus and herpes simplex viruses are the most frequent agents. However, in spite of the use of modern microbiological and radiological methods, an etiological diagnosis is reached in less than 50% of cases, making a careful differential diagnosis with non viral brain diseases imperative. Pathogenesis is elusive and therapy continues to remain supportive in almost all cases, as the only virus-directed treatment is available for herpesvirus-related encephalitis and a role for steroids continues to be debated. Novel and more targeted therapies are eagerly needed.