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June 1975

Recovery From Encephalomyelitis Caused by Herpesvirus simiae: Report of a Case

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Infectious and Immunologic Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, and the California Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis; the University of California (Davis)-Sacramento Medical Center; and the California State Department of Health, Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory, Berkeley.

Arch Intern Med. 1975;135(6):868-870. doi:10.1001/archinte.1975.00330060112017

Since the original description of herpesvirus B encephalomyelitis by Sabin and Wright,1 survival has been reported in but four patients— three recovered2-4 and one died after 40 months in coma.5 We wish to record a fourth recovery. Our patient is additionally remarkable because he has no apparent residual neurological defects, except for diminished visual acuity of the left eye.

Herpesvirus simiae (HVS), a "B" virus or herpes B, is a natural parasite of Asian monkeys of the genus Macaca.6,7 It is closely related to Herpesvirus hominis (HVH), which infects man.8,9

The diagnosis of HVS infections in humans is accomplished readily in fatal cases because the virus can be recovered from brain tissue and identified in neutralization tests with antiserum to a known strain of HVS. Diagnosis prior to death, or in nonfatal cases, is more complicated, but B virus infection should be suspected in patients

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