Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Trend of hospital utilization for encephalitis

  • P. BARBADORO (a1), A. MARIGLIANO (a1), A. RICCIARDI (a1), M. M. D'ERRICO (a1) and E. PROSPERO (a1)...

Encephalitis generally results in a serious illness requiring hospitalization. The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiology of hospitalization for encephalitis in Italy, taking into account the geographical distribution, aetiology, seasonality and evolution of hospitalization rates over recent years. The mean hospitalization rate was 5·88/100 000. For most of these hospitalizations (n=13 119, 55·6%), no specific cause of encephalitis was reported. The most common aetiological category was ‘viral’, which accounted for 40·1% (n=4205) of such hospitalizations (rate 1·05/100 000). Within this category, herpes virus was the leading causative agent (n=1579, 0·39/100 000). This report highlights a significant increase of ‘viral encephalitis not otherwise specified’ (ICD-9 code 049·9) vs. a reduction of all other causes. A seasonal pattern was noted in people aged ⩾65 years in this group. Specific surveillance of encephalitis without known origin should be reinforced in order to identify the potential role of emerging pathogens and to design preventive interventions.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr P. Barbadoro, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Section of Hygiene, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Piazza Roma 2, 60100Ancona, Italy. (Email:
Hide All
1. AR Tunkel , The management of encephalitis: clinical practice guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2008; 47: 303327.

4. H Shoji , Acute viral encephalitis: the recent progress. Internal Medicine 2002; 41: 420428.

5. A Chaudhuri , PG Kennedy . Diagnosis and treatment of viral encephalitis. Postgraduate Medical Journal 2002; 78: 575583.

7. P Tattevin . Infectious meningoencephalitis in non-immunocompromised adult: state of the art [in French]. Revue de Médecine Interne 2009; 30: 125134.

8. C Domenech , Role of Mycoplasma pneumoniae in pediatric encephalitis. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 2009; 28: 9194.

9. A Chakrabarti . Epidemiology of central nervous system mycoses. Neurology India 2007; 55: 191197.

11. GL Campbell , West Nile virus. Lancet Infectious Diseases 2002; 2: 519529.

12. WJ Bellini , Nipah virus: an emergent paramyxovirus causing severe encephalitis in humans. Journal of Neurovirology 2005; 11: 481487.

13. SM Wang , Enterovirus 71, one virus and many stories. Pediatrics Neonatology 2008; 49: 113115.

14. J Granerod , Causes of encephalitis and differences in their clinical presentations in England: a multicentre, population-based prospective study. Lancet Infectious Diseases 2010; 10: 835844.

15. KL Davison , Viral encephalitis in England 1989–1998: what did we miss? Emerging Infectious Diseases 2003; 9: 234240.

16. N Khetsuriani , RC Holmann , LJ Anderson . Burden of encephalitis–associated hospitalizations in the United States, 1988–1997. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2002; 35: 175182.

17. M Koskiniemi , Infections of the central nervous system of suspected viral origin: a collaborative study from Finland. Journal of Neurovirology 2001; 7: 400408.

18. M Koskiniemi , Epidemiology of encephalitis in children: a prospective multicentre study. European Journal of Pediatrics 1997; 156: 541545.

19. RT Trevejo . Acute encephalitis hospitalizations, California, 1990–1999: unrecognized arboviral encephalitis? Emerging Infectious Diseases 2004; 10: 14421449.

20. J Granerod , NS Crowcroft . The epidemiology of acute encephalitis Neuropsychological Rehabilitation 2007; 17: 406428.

22. M Kulldorff , A space-time permutation scan statistic for disease outbreak detection. PLoS Medicine 2005; 2: e59.

27. A Mailles , V Vaillant , JP Stahl . Infectious encephalitis in France from 2000 to 2002: the hospital database is a valuable but limited source of information for epidemiological studies [in French]. Medicine et Maladies Infectieuses 2007; 37: 95–102.

30. S Frenos , An increasing incidence of chickenpox central nervous system complications in children: What's happening in Tuscany? Journal of Clinical Virology 2007; 38: 358361.

33. JJ Sejvar . The evolving epidemiology of viral encephalitis. Current Opinion in Neurology 2006; 19: 350357.

34. EA Gould , Impact of climate change and other factors on emerging arbovirus diseases. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2009; 103: 109–21.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 23 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 107 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.