Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Human herpesvirus-7 associated recurrent encephalitis in an immunocompetent young man and successful foscarnet treatment


Human herpesvirus type-7 (HHV-7) is a recently described herpesvirus, and neuroinvasion has been rarely reported. We describe recurrent encephalitis associated with HHV-7 in an immunocompetent host, who was successfully treated with foscarnet.

Case report

A 32-year-old man was transferred to our hospital from a local hospital because of a sudden onset of decreased mental status and intermittent abnormal behavior. He had been previously diagnosed with HSV-1 encephalitis and treated with acyclovir for 20 days; after two months, altered mental status and abnormal behavior occurred. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on admission disclosed high-signal lesions involving the bilateral temporal lobe on T2 weighted imaging. We examined a variety of viral DNA in cerebrospinal fluid and serum by nested polymerase chain reaction.


HHV-7 DNA was detected in both cerebrospinal fluid and serum, suggesting neuroinvasion by HHV-7. No other viral DNA was identified. After intravenous treatment with foscarnet sodium 2000 mg every eight hours for two weeks, the patient was significantly recovered except for a mild memory deficit. Follow-up brain MRI showed that the lesion had almost disappeared.


HHV-7 may cause meningoencephalitis in immunocompetent adults, and should be investigated as possible etiology in the treatment of resistant encephalitis patients. This case indicates that HHV-7 meningoencephalitis can be effectively eradicated by foscarnet treatment.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kon Chu.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kim, JM., Chu, K. Human herpesvirus-7 associated recurrent encephalitis in an immunocompetent young man and successful foscarnet treatment. BMC Proc 2 (Suppl 1), P31 (2008).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: