Last updated: Tuesday, 30, November, 2010
Cerebrospinal fluid examination, diagnostic imaging and electroencephalography to support clinical diagnosis.
Herpes simplex virus is the most common cause of sporadic disease; in the absence of conflicting evidence, appropriate therapy should be instituted.
In otherwise undiagnosed, severe, progressive encephalitis, brain biopsy may be required as a last resort.
See also Meningitis
Consideration of seasonal and geographic factors, recent travel, age, and sexual activity may assist in defining the likely viral agent.
If appropriate: throat/nasopharyngeal swabs, CSF, faeces - virus detection, culture.
If there is a past history of exposure to sick horses or bats, equine morbillivirus antibodies serology or bat lyssavirus antibodies (rabies virus antibodies) may be indicated.
Arbovirus infections, especially
Enterovirus infections, especially
|See HIV infection, AIDS|
Serum, CSF - measles virus antibodies; CSF immunoglobulin studies (oligoclonal bands).
Rubella is a rare cause: rubella antibodies should be requested if measles antibodies negative.
Progressive multifocal leucoencephalopathy
|A rare demyelinating disorder affecting immunosuppressed patients, due to JC virus (a polyomavirus).|