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Herpes Simplex Virus Encephalitis in Human UNC-93B Deficiency

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Science  13 Oct 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5797, pp. 308-312
DOI: 10.1126/science.1128346

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Abstract

Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) encephalitis (HSE) is the most common form of sporadic viral encephalitis in western countries. Its pathogenesis remains unclear, as it affects otherwise healthy patients and only a small minority of HSV-1–infected individuals. Here, we elucidate a genetic etiology for HSE in two children with autosomal recessive deficiency in the intracellular protein UNC-93B, resulting in impaired cellular interferon-α/β and -λ antiviral responses. HSE can result from a single-gene immunodeficiency that does not compromise immunity to most pathogens, unlike most known primary immunodeficiencies. Other severe infectious diseases may also reflect monogenic disorders of immunity.

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