Case Report

Interferon alpha in subacute sclerosing panencephalitis: Case report and review of the literature

K. Moodley, P. L. A. Bill, V. B. Patel
Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases | Vol 31, No 4 | a76 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajid.v31i4.76 | © 2019 K. Moodley, P. L. A. Bill, V. B. Patel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 May 2019 | Published: 31 December 2016

About the author(s)

K. Moodley, Department of Neurology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
P. L. A. Bill, Department of Neurology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
V. B. Patel, Department of Neurology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Abstract

Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis (SSPE) is a rare, rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease caused by the measles virus. Spontaneous remission and survival longer than 4 years is rare. The disease commonly affects children and adolescents from less privileged socio-economic backgrounds. Prior to immunisation, the incidence of SSPE in South Africa (SA) was 2.6/100 000 people per year, which is higher than the global estimate of 1/1 000 000 per year. The post-immunisation incidence has dropped to 0.43/100 000 people per year. Currently, there is no curative treatment for SSPE. In developed countries, patients have been treated with antiviral therapy and interferon alpha (IFNα) with promising results. There have been no reported studies of children with SSPE treated with IFNα in South Africa. We report on a patient successfully treated with intraventricular INFα.

Keywords

Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis (SSPE); Interferon; HIV; Measles

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