Neurological Infections in an Age of Globalization, New Drugs, and Heightened Surveillance

By eroding geographic barriers, globalization provides fresh avenues for neurotropic viruses to travel between nations. In January’s Lancet Neurology, researchers from the NIH (Eugene Major & Avidra Nath) review the perils created when these microbes cross borders.

Along with highlighting recent outbreaks of microbial encephalitis/meningitis, the authors examine another overlooked cause of brain infections: medical intervention. New drugs that modulate the immune system are inadvertently reviving dormant infections, with severe consequences.

They conclude by discussing how innovations in disease surveillance, some developed here at the CII, are exposing novel microbes that target the brain.

This succinct report is a great read for anyone searching for information on pandemics caused by neurological infectious agents.

- Nsikan Akpan

Major EO, & Nath A (2012). Neurological infections: risks of globalisation and new drugs. Lancet neurology, 11(1), 14-5 PMID: 22172615