Each arbovirus that causes encephalitis is geographically restricted by the availability of appropriate vectors and reservoir hosts. These viruses evolve regionally by recombination, reassortment and point mutation and can "emerge" as causes of human encephalitis through extension to new geographic regions or by selection of more virulent or more efficiently transmitted virus variants. The properties of arboviruses that result in encephalitis involve efficient replication in peripheral tissues after initiation of infection, production of a viremia, entry into the central nervous system and efficient replication in neurons with spread to additional populations of neurons. Many of these steps are determined by properties of the envelope glycoproteins responsible for cellular attachment, but changes in noncoding regions of the genome, as well as in other structural and nonstructural proteins, also contribute to neurovirulence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)