Borna Virus: More deadly infections in Germany than previously thought

An infection with the so-called Borna virus died in Germany in recent years, far more people than in the past. The causative agent was in Bavaria, in the preserved brain of a deceased patient samples has been demonstrated, researchers of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI) and the University of Regensburg in The journal “The Lancet Infectious Diseases”. A total of at least 14 people evidence died, therefore, since 1995, to the inflammation of the brain. The latest known Borna-case, the scientists dated to the end of 2019. A girl died. The extent to which the Virus is inflammation overall, could be behind the Brain with unknown cause is yet unclear.

Confirmed cases only in Bavaria

The scientists examined brain samples from 56 patients from Bavaria, which between 1999 and 2019, an inflammation of the Brain was diagnosed. At 28 there is no reason for the disease had been found, nine of those Affected had died. In seven of these nine people, the Borna has been demonstrated Disease Virus 1 (BoDV-1). Regardless, there were two more confirmed infections. All the cases were in Bavaria, and were diagnosed at the University hospital of Regensburg, in Erlangen or Munich, as Martin Beer, Director of the Institute of diagnostic Virology of the FLI, the German press Agency said

.Previously, five other evidence-reports from the years 2018 and 2019 were already known. Among other things, three people had been infected through organ donation with the deadly disease, because they had to get a kidney or the liver of an Infected from Bavaria. Only one of them survived the disease, however, with serious health consequences. That farm animals such as horses and sheep with the Borna-infected disease and it can die, is already much longer known.

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Cats could have transmitted Borna-viruses

The only known Reservoir of the pathogen in the Field shrew, Crocidura leucodon), in which the infection causes no serious symptoms. The mice excrete the Virus in urine, feces and saliva can infect other animals and, in rare cases, humans.An infection from human to human or from horse to man to be ruled out in a natural way, explained Beer. He spoke of the so-called dead-end hosts that carry the Virus, but not further spread. Both in the case of farm animals, as well as in humans, the infection is likely to be very often fatal.

How, exactly, the patient in Bavaria, the ill, regardless of organ donation, those infected with the Virus, according to Beers unclear. Many had had close contact with cats – which could potentially have a shrew and brought home prisoner. This is only a hypothesis. The report in the journal showed that most of the 14 Affected contact to animals were investigated lived in rural areas, worked in agriculture or were Outdoor activities.

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