Herpes simplex type 2 in a patient with Mollaret's meningitis: demonstration by polymerase chain reaction

Ann Neurol. 1994 Jan;35(1):112-6. doi: 10.1002/ana.410350118.


We describe a patient with recurrent self-limited aseptic meningitis meeting the criteria for Mollaret's syndrome, in whom extensive serological investigation and cerebrospinal fluid analysis failed to reveal a specific cause. Using polymerase chain reaction techniques to amplify herpes simplex viral DNA, we were able to identify the presence of herpes simplex virus type 2 in the cerebrospinal fluid. The duration of clinical illness may have been shortened by treatment with intravenous acyclovir. We suggest that herpes simplex virus may be a more common cause of aseptic meningitis than has been demonstrated by current commonly available serological and culture techniques.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Viral / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Herpes Simplex / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Herpes Simplex / diagnosis*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Aseptic / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Meningitis, Aseptic / microbiology*
  • Meningitis, Viral / diagnosis
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Recurrence


  • DNA, Viral