Review article: Encephalitis lethargia – University of Copenhagen

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21 August 2014

Review article: Encephalitis lethargia

In conjunction with a collaborator from the Bernard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Germany, a researcher from the Centre for GeoGenetics publishes a review on the enigmatic and historical epidemic, Encephalitis lethargica.

A US advert on Spanish Influenza, circa 1918. The virus has been long suspected to have caused Encephalitis lethargica. However, this has never been proven.

The article, published in the Journal of Clinical Virology, supports a viral etiology through clinical, histopathological and epidemiological data. Candidate microbes are proposed, and insights into how expanding high-throughput sequencing technologies may offer novel etiological information is discussed.

Review: Medical and molecular perspectives into a forgotten epidemic: Encephalitis lethargica, viruses, and high-throughput sequencing. Dennis Tappe, David E. Alquezar-Planas. J. Clinical Virology. In press.