J Clin Virol. 2013 Dec ;58(4):737-40. Epub 2013 Oct 24. PMID: 24216323
Fulminant encephalitis associated with a vaccine strain of rubella virus.
Involvement of the central nervous system is common in measles, but rare in rubella. However, rubella virus (RV) can cause a variety of central nervous system syndromes, including meningitis, encephalitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome and sub acute sclerosing panencephalitis. We report the occurrence of one fatal case of the encephalitis associated with measles-rubella (MR) vaccine during an immunization campaign in São Paulo, Brazil. A 31 year-old-man, previously in good health, was admitted at emergency room, withconfusion, agitation, inability to stand and hold his head up. Ten days prior to admission, he was vaccinated with combined MR vaccine (Serum Institute of India) and three days later he developed 'flu-like' illness with fever, myalgia and headache. Results of clinical and laboratory exams were consistent with a pattern of viral encephalitis. During hospitalization, his condition deteriorated rapidly with tetraplegia and progression to coma. On the 3rd day of hospitalization he died. Histopathology confirmed encephalitis and immunohistochemistry was positive for RV on brain tissue. RV was alsodetected by qPCR and virus isolation in cerebrospinal fluid, brain and other clinical samples. The sequence obtained from the isolated virus was identical to that of the RA 27/3 vaccine strain.