A Case of Encephalitis in a Human Associated with a Serologic Rise to Jamestown Canyon Virus

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  • Laboratory for Arbovirus Research and Surveillance, Department of Biology, University of Notre Dame, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of Bronson Methodist Hospital, Vector-Borne Viral Disease Division, Centers for Disease Control, Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Department of Public Health, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

Abstract. An 8-year-old girl living in rural southwestern Michigan experienced sudden onset of symptoms beginning with headache, dizziness and fever which rapidly progessed to central nervous system involvement with seizures and coma. Following 27 days of hospitalization her recovery was uneventful, with no apparent sequelae 15 months after discharge. Serologic studies of paired sera showed a rise in antibody to Jamestown Canyon virus, a member of the California serogroup (family Bunyaviridae). Specific IgM anti-Jamestown Canyon virus antibody was detected in sera drawn 9 days after onset. A concomitant rise in complement fixation antibody to herpesvirus was also noted. We believe this is the first reported case of encephalitis associated with Jamestown Canyon virus infection. Reasons are presented for the current inability to routinely detect infection and clinical illness caused by this virus.

Author Notes

Present address: Centers for Disease Control, International Health Program Office, Atlanta, Georgia 30333.