Varicella-zoster virus acquired at 4 months of age reactivates at 24 months and causes encephalitis

J Pediatr. 2002 Feb;140(2):250-1. doi: 10.1067/mpd.2002.121934.


Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) reactivation in the brain caused encephalitis in a 2-year-old immunocompetent child who had chickenpox 20 months before. Radiologic findings were consistent with large to medium-vessel-vasculitis. VZV-DNA was detected in cerebrospinal fluid. Early acquisition of VZV may predispose to major neurologic complications that can occur years after the primary infection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Encephalitis, Varicella Zoster / diagnosis*
  • Encephalitis, Varicella Zoster / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Immunocompetence
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Virus Activation*