Central nervous system (CNS) disease is the most common extrarespiratory complication of influenza in humans. However, the pathogenesis, including the route of virus entry, is largely unknown. Here we present, for the first time, evidence of influenza virus entry into the CNS via the olfactory route in an immune-compromised infant. Since the nasal cavity is a primary site of influenza virus replication and is directly connected to the CNS via the olfactory nerve, these results imply that influenza virus invasion of the CNS may occur more often than previously believed.

Central nervous system, CNS disease, Influenza, Olfactory route, Virus attachment
dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiu097, hdl.handle.net/1765/62453
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/278976 - ANTIcipating the Global Onset of Novel Epidemics (ANTIGONE)
Department of Pathology

van Riel, D.A.J, Leijten, L.M.E, Verdijk, R.M, Geurts van Kessel, C.H, van der Vries, E, van Rossum, A.M.C, … Kuiken, T. (2014). Evidence for influenza virus CNS invasion along the olfactory route in an immunocompromised infant. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 210(3), 419–423. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiu097