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Article |

BK Virus Encephalitis in an Immunocompetent Patient

Raymond Voltz, MD; Gundula Jäger, MD; Klaus Seelos, MD; Leonard Fuhry, MD; Reinhard Hohlfeld, MD
Arch Neurol. 1996;53(1):101-103. doi:10.1001/archneur.1996.00550010121025.
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Published online

Objectives:  To describe a previously healthy patient now suffering from monophasic encephalitis caused by a primary infection with BK virus and to discuss possible risk factors for developing BK virus encephalitis.

Design:  Case report.

Setting:  Referral hospital.

Patient:  The patient was examined on referral.

Main Outcome Measures:  The main diagnostic tests performed were serology, polymerase chain reaction on cerebrospinal fluid samples, and cranial magnetic resonance imaging.

Results:  During the course of the patient's encephalitis, an IgM titer developed against polyomavirus, followed by anti—polyomavirus IgG. Wild-type BK virus was demonstrated in cerebrospinal fluid samples. Cranial magnetic resonance imaging showed diffuse reversible white matter changes most prominent on T2-weighted images.

Conclusion:  We conclude that diagnostic tests for BK, a human polyomavirus, should be included in the screening program for encephalitogenic pathogens.

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