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Herpesvirus Can Cause Meningitis in HIVers

Herpesvirus Can Cause Meningitis in HIVers

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Researchers in Paris, studying the effects of herpes simplex virus type 2 on 13 immunocompromised patients, have determined that the herpesvirus can cause meningitis'a serious and sometimes fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord'in some HIV-positive adults. Writing in the December 1 edition of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the researchers report finding herpes DNA in the spinal fluid of all immunocompromised study subjects diagnosed with meningitis, with type 2 virus detected in seven of the patients. The subjects' median CD4-cell count at the onset of meningitis symptoms was 400. The researchers suggest that doctors screen their HIV-positive patients for HSV type 2 and be on the lookout for any signs of meningitis. 'Early recognition and treatment,' they wrote, 'might improve the outcome of such infections.'

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