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AIDS-related progressive leukoencephalopathy (PML).

Given our leading position in the HIV/AIDS stakes, it is surprising that PML has been seen so seldom in SA. One obvious reason is that we fail to recognise what can be subtle changes of motor or cognitive function in patients who are battling more acute illnesses (such as disseminated tuberculosis). Another reason may be that the clade C HI viruses that infect people in sub-Saharan Africa interact with the JC virus that causes PML in a different way to clade B viruses (common in Europe).

The paucity of reports may also reflect Africa's lack of the sophisticated technology needed to confirm a diagnosis of PML. South Africa does have this technology, involving a polymerase chain reaction method to probe the presence of the JC virus in the cerebrospinal fluid, and in the past 2 years the Department of Neurology at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria has seen a rising number of patients with PML. [3]

[3.] Schutte C-M, Ranchhod N, Kakaza M, Pillay M. AIDS-related progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML): A retrospective study from Pretoria, South Africa. S Afr Med J 2013;103(5):399-401. []

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Title Annotation:EDITOR'S CHOICE
Publication:South African Medical Journal
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2013
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