Pediatria pre prax 5/2023

Viral neuroinfections in childhood

In last years, the decline of bacterial meningitides can be noticed. However, in the case of viral neuroinfections, the same trend is not observed. Although the most of viral meningitides have a benign course, they rang among severe diseases of childhood age. The reasons are, among others, prolonged hospitalization and the necessity of invasive diagnostic methods. The most frequent viral neuroinfections occurred in the Czech conditions are the tick-borne encephalitis and meningitides caused by enteroviruses and herpesviruses. The herpes simplex virus (HSV) and the varicella-zoster virus are the most important from the last group. There is a benefit of existing causal therapy of herpesviruses, however (especially in the case of HSV1 etiology) the results are unsatisfying and the prognosis remains grave. The standard diagnostic procedure is based on lumbar puncture and cerebrospinal fluid examination. The identification of etiology is recently much more accurate because of the extensive availability of polymerase chain reaction technique.

Keywords: viral neuroinfections, meningitis, encephalitis, children