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Lock and key approach to “hidden” encephalitis
  1. E J Thompson
  1. Correspondence to:
 E J Thompson
 Department of Neuroimmunology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK; e.thompson{at}

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Further keys to unlock diagnosis and treatment to “hidden” encephalitis can be obtained by access to PCR and IgG immunoblotting

Although varicella zoster virus is notorious for masquerading in various clinical presentations (eg, Guillain–Barré syndrome, Bell’s palsy or even without the shingles rash), it nevertheless remains a completely curable disease, provided the suspicion of the neurologist is raised.1 To clinch the diagnosis requires access to possibly two laboratories, thereby adopting a dual approach to both antibody and antigen (lock and key)—namely, viral immunoglobulin G (IgG) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The recent …

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  • Published Online First 5 June 2006

  • Competing interests: None declared.

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