What is the prevalence of herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) as a primary infection?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Wayne E Anderson, DO, FAHS, FAAN; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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HSE represents a primary HSV infection in about one third of cases; the remaining cases occur in patients with serologic evidence of preexisting HSV infection and are due to reactivation of a latent peripheral infection in the olfactory bulb or trigeminal ganglion or to reactivation of a latent infection in the brain itself. A substantial number of neurologically asymptomatic individuals may have latent HSV in the brain. In a postmortem study, HSV was present in the brains of 35% of patients with no evidence of neurologic disease at the time of death. [16]

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