Study is First to Find Clear Signs of Enterovirus in Nervous System of AFM Patients, Strongest Evidence to Date That Disease is Viral

A UC San Francisco-led research team has detected the immunological remnants of a common seasonal virus in spinal fluid from dozens of patients diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) – a polio-like illness that causes permanent, sometimes life-threatening paralysis in young children. The findings provide the clearest evidence to date that AFM is caused by an enterovirus (EV) that invades and impairs the central nervous system.

Credit: iStock, HRAUN

The study was published Oct. 21, 2019, in Nature Medicine.

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