An encephalitis primer.
For most clinicians managing a patient with encephalitis will be an infrequent event. The range of differential diagnoses in a child presenting with a clinical syndrome that could be encephalitis is broad. In addition, there are many pathogens that can cause encephalitis. In view of these facts, a systematic approach to clinical assessment, investigation and treatment, based on epidemiology and an understanding the limits of investigations, is crucial to effective management of this condition. This review focuses on encephalitis aetiology and investigation; HSV encephalitis; mycoplasma encephalitis; and flavivirus encephalitis as a globally important cause of disease.