An encephalitic illness with a fatal outcome occurred in a 9 month old girl with virologically confirmed exanthem subitum. Human herpes-virus-6 (HHV-6) DNA was found in the cerebrospinal fluid at the acute stage of the disease by the polymerase chain reaction, but the virus antigen was not detected in her brain tissue. This suggests that HHV-6-induced encephalitis/encephalopathy may be due to a non-infectious process.
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