Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), a human zoonosis caused by a rodent-borne arenavirus, has been associated with both postnatal and intrauterine human disease. Infection in man is acquired after inhalation, ingestion, or direct contact with virus found in the urine, feces, and saliva of infected mice, hamsters, and guinea pigs. Congenital LCMV infection is a significant, often unrecognized cause of chorioretinitis, hydrocephalus, microcephaly or macrocephaly, and mental retardation. Acquired LCMV infection, asymptomatic in approximately one third of individuals, is productive of central nervous system manifestations in one half of the remaining cases. Aseptic meningitis or meningoencephalitis are the predominant syndromes, although transverse myelitis, a Guillain-Barré-type syndrome, as well as transient and permanent acquired hydrocephalus have also been reported. Fatalities are rare. We report a patient with meningoencephalitis attributable to LCMV and discuss the spectrum of central nervous system disease, newer diagnostic modalities, and preventive strategies. lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, aseptic meningitis, meningoencephalitis, zoonosis, hydrocephalus, arenavirus.

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