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Human bornavirus research: Back on track!

Bornavirus infections in man have been a matter of controversial scientific debate for most of the last three decades. Because Borna disease virus 1 (BoDV-1) was known to cause fatal encephalitis and behavioral changes in a broad range of infected animals, it is perhaps not surprising that some virologists and clinicians suspected bornaviruses to also induce behavioral and psychiatric disorders in people. In contrast, the possibility of lethal bornavirus-induced disease of the human central nervous system was not appropriately taken into consideration. As recent research shows, however, for years they have been barking up the wrong tree.

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