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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 697418, 3 pages
Research Article

Plasma Cell Cerebrospinal Fluid Pleocytosis Does Not Predict West Nile Virus Infection

1Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA
2Department of Infectious Disease, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
3Sanford Research/USD, Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, SD 57104, USA
4Department of Infectious Disease, Sanford Health, Fargo, ND 58122, USA

Received 25 May 2011; Accepted 30 July 2011

Academic Editor: Stuart D. Blacksell

Copyright © 2012 Michael Jordan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. Diagnosis of WNV (WNV) relies upon serologic testing which may take several days after the onset of clinical symptoms to turn positive. Anecdotal reports suggest the presence of plasma cells or plasmacytoid lymphocytes in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may be an early indicator of WNV infection. Methods. The CSFs of 89 patients (12 with WNV, 12 with other viral illness { O V I } , and 65 with nonviral illness { N V I } ) were compared for the presence of either plasma cells or plasmacytoid lymphocytes. Results. Plasma cells were rarely seen in any of the patients. Plasmacytoid lymphocytes were more commonly seen in WNV (58%) and OVI (50%) than NVI (11%). The differences were significant for WNV versus NVI, but not WNV versus OVI ( 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 1 and 𝑃 = 0 . 5 8 , resp.). Conclusions. A CSF pleocytosis with plasma cells or plasmacytoid lymphocytes was neither sensitive nor specific for the diagnosis of WNV infection.