Volume 17, Number 12—December 2011
Human Cardioviruses, Meningitis, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in Children
Author affiliations: University of Bonn Medical Centre, Bonn, Germany (J.F. Drexler, M. Eschbach-Bludau, A. Simon, U. Bode, A.-M. Eis-Hübinger, B. Madea, C. Drosten); Institute of Hygiene and the Environment, Hamburg, Germany (S. Baumgarte); Catholic Children's Hospital Wilhelmstift, Hamburg (C. Kemen)Suggested citation for this article
AbstractCardioviruses cause myocarditis and encephalomyelitis in rodents; human cardioviruses have not been ascribed to any disease. We screened 6,854 cerebrospinal fluid and 10 myocardium specimens from children and adults. A genotype 2 cardiovirus was detected from a child who died of sudden infant death syndrome, and 2 untypeable cardioviruses were detected from 2 children with meningitis.
The cardioviruses (family Picornaviridae, genus Cardiovirus) are pathogens of rodents and include a murine encephalomyocarditis virus and Theiler’s virus and related strains (species Theilovirus), the latter serving as laboratory models of the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis in mice (1). The existence of specific human cardioviruses was suspected in the 1960s in conjunction with a rare infectious neurodegenerative disease known as Vilyuisk encephalitis (2,3). Recently, human cardioviruses (hCVs) were identified in archived diagnostic cell culture supernatants (4) and in clinical samples from children with diarrhea or respiratory infection (5,6). Up to 8 different putative hCV types have since been characterized in human feces (7).
Despite the remarkable pathogenicity of rodent cardioviruses, specific disease associations of hCV could not be made. An initial clinical study yielded no evidence of hCV in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 400 patients with aseptic meningitis, encephalitis, or multiple sclerosis (8). To evaluate the pathogenetic potential of these emerging viruses, we investigated 6,854 CSF specimens from adults and children with neurologic disease and 10 myocardium specimens from infants who had died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Human Cardioviruses, Meningitis, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in Children - Vol. 17 No. 12 - December 2011 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Suggested citation for this article: Drexler JF, Baumgarte S, Eschbach-Bludau M, Simon A, Kemen C, Bode U, et al. Human cardioviruses, meningitis, and sudden infant death syndrome in children. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet] 2011 Dec [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1712.111037