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Pathology of St. Louis Encephalitis

Dr Sampurna Roy MD  




St. Louis encephalitis is prevalent in North and Central America and is the most important mosquito-borne disease in the USA.

It has caused several large epidemics in recent years, the clinical picture ranging from mild febrile illness to frank encephalitis and the case fatality ranging from 2 to 20 per cent.

The disease is generally milder in children than in adults,  but in those children who do have disease, there is a high rate of encephalitis.

The elderly are at highest risk for severe disease and death.

St. Louis encephalitis is caused by the St. Louis encephalitis virus, which is an arthropod borne flavivirus.

It is related to Japanese encephalitis virus

(Visit: Japanese Encephalitis )

Wild birds act as the reservoir and Culex mosquitoes as the vector.

Diagnosis is based on tests of blood or spinal fluid.


Further reading:

Mutation analysis of the fusion domain region of St. Louis encephalitis virus envelope protein.

Genetic characterization of St. Louis encephalitis virus isolated from human in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Post-infectious encephalomyelitis associated with St. Louis encephalitis virus infection.

St. Louis encephalitis outbreak in Louisiana in 2001.

Prevalence of antibodies to western equine encephalomyelitis and St. Louis encephalitis viruses in residents of California exposed to sporadic and consistent enzootic transmission.

St. Louis encephalitis--Florida 1977. Patterns of a widespread outbreak.



Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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