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Emerging Viral Infections in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Developing Nervous System: A Mini Review
Makerere Univ, Uganda;Mulago Hosp, Uganda.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Karolinska Institutet.
Uniformed Serv Univ Hlth Sci, USA.
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2018 (English)In: Frontiers in Neurology, ISSN 1664-2295, E-ISSN 1664-2295, Vol. 9, article id 82Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The global public health concern is heightened over the increasing number of emerging viruses, i.e., newly discovered or previously known that have expanded into new geographical zones. These viruses challenge the health-care systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries from which several of them have originated and been transmitted by insects worldwide. Some of these viruses are neuroinvasive, but have been relatively neglected by neuroscientists. They may provide experiments by nature to give a time window for exposure to a new virus within sizeable, previously non-infected human populations, which, for instance, enables studies on potential long-term or late-onset effects on the developing nervous system. Here, we briefly summarize studies on the developing brain by West Nile, Zika, and Chikungunya viruses, which are mosquito-borne and have spread worldwide out of SSA. They can all be neuroinvasive, but their effects vary from malformations caused by prenatal infections to cognitive disturbances following perinatal or later infections. We also highlight Ebola virus, which can leave surviving children with psychiatric disturbances and cause persistent infections in the non-human primate brain. Greater awareness within the neuroscience community is needed to emphasize the menace evoked by these emerging viruses to the developing brain. In particular, frontline neuroscience research should include neuropediatric follow-up studies in the field on long-term or late-onset cognitive and behavior disturbances or neuropsychiatric disorders. Studies on pathogenetic mechanisms for viral-induced perturbations of brain maturation should be extended to the vulnerable periods when neurocircuit formations are at peaks during infancy and early childhood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2018. Vol. 9, article id 82
Keywords [en]
developing nervous system, emerging viruses, Ebola virus, Chikungunya virus, West Nile virus, Zika virus, neurological disorders, sub-Saharan Africa
National Category
Microbiology in the medical area Neurosciences
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-71553DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00082ISI: 000425991700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-71553DiVA, id: diva2:1190996
Available from: 2018-03-16 Created: 2018-03-16 Last updated: 2018-03-16Bibliographically approved

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Mohammed, Abdul K. H.

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