Scientific reports 2016 09 146() 33452 doi 10.1038/srep33452
Acute encephalitis/encephalopathy is a severe neurological syndrome that is occasionally associated with viral infection. Comprehensive virus detection assays are desirable because viral pathogens have not been identified in many cases. We evaluated the utility of next-generation sequencing (NGS) for detecting viruses in clinical samples of encephalitis/encephalopathy patients. We first determined the sensitivity and quantitative performance of NGS by comparing the NGS-determined number of sequences of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) in clinical serum samples with the HHV-6 load measured using real-time PCR. HHV-6 was measured as it occasionally causes neurologic disorders in children. The sensitivity of NGS for detection of HHV-6 sequences was equivalent to that of real-time PCR, and the number of HHV-6 reads was significantly correlated with HHV-6 load. Next, we investigated the ability of NGS to detect viral sequences in 18 pediatric patients with acute encephalitis/encephalopathy of unknown etiology. A large number of Coxsackievirus A9 and mumps viral sequences were detected in the cerebrospinal fluid of 2 and 1 patients, respectively. In addition, Torque teno virus and Pepper mild mottle viral sequences were detected in the sera of one patient each. These data indicate that NGS is useful for detection of causative viruses in patients with pediatric encephalitis/encephalopathy.