Objectives. An attempt was made in the study to discuss a probable relationship between neonatal infection with the Borna disease virus (BDV) and the onset of schizophrenia in later life.
Review. The BDV is a non-segmented, single-stranded, highly neurotropic RNA virus of negative-polarity with non-cytolytic replication in the central nervous system. The virus is the cause of neurological complications primarily in horses and sheep. An association between the history of BDV infection on the one hand and psychiatric disorders or behavioral disturbances on the other has been suggested by numerous serologic and molecular studies. Some publications indicate a relationship between infection with the BDV and clinical symptoms of not only schizophrenia, but also bipolar affective disorder. The damage produced in the rat brain by neonatal BD V infection is similar to that seen in humans in the course of some neurodevelopmental disorders, e.g. autism or schizophrenia.
Conclusion. The perinatal BDV infection is a probable risk factor for schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder.