Enterovirus meningitis in Greece from 2003-2005: diagnosis, CSF laboratory findings, and clinical manifestations.J Clin Lab Anal. 2006; 20(5):177-83.JC
Enteroviruses (EVs) are the most commonly identified cause of aseptic meningitis. Rapid detection and characterization of EV meningitis is essential in making decisions for patient management and treatment. A total of 52 cases of acute aseptic meningitis that occurred from March 2003 to April 2005 were investigated for EVs using viral culture and/or molecular methods directly in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). EVs were detected in 21 out of 52 (40.4%) patients using reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and/or tissue culture. EVs were isolated from six out of 37 (16.2%) cultured specimens, while 20 out of 52 (38.4%) specimens yielded positive results when 5'non-coding region (5'NCR) RT-PCR assay was used. One specimen that was culture-positive was RT-PCR-negative. Using the VP1-2A RT-PCR and sequence analysis, 14 of the 21 positive EVs were identified as: four strains of Coxsackie virus B5, five echovirus 11, two echovirus 9, one echovirus 5, one echovirus 14, and one Coxsackie virus A9. Fever, headache, vomiting, and stiff neck were the most pronounced symptoms. Pleocytosis with the predominance of lymphocytes and mild elevated protein levels characterized the CSF specimens. Coxsackie virus B5 and echovirus 11 were the predominant serotypes during the study period. Although there was seasonal enteroviral activity (April-November), cases also occurred in the cold months. The 5'NCR and VP1-2A RT-PCR with sequence analysis were found to be superior to conventional methods for direct diagnosis and the typing of EVs.