Research on Neuroinfectious Diseases
The Mukerji lab has a clinical interest in clinical presentation, outcomes and potential treatments for neuroinvasive viruses affecting New England.
Encephalitis and Meningitis
The lab runs the Prospective Encephalitis and Meningitis Study, which focuses on collecting biosamples from patients with confirmed and suspected infectious encephalitis to improve diagnostics and identify biomarkers for therapeutic targeting.
For example, an interdisciplinary team came together to quickly diagnose a patient with severe and progressive encephalitis of unknown etiology. Using metagenomic sequencing from cerebrospinal fluid, the PEMS team identified Powassan virus, an emerging tick-borne flavivirus that has been increasingly detected in the United States. The details can be found in the paper Rapid Detection of Powassan Virus in a Patient With Encephalitis by Metagenomic Sequencing."
We also study the clinical features and management of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and other neurologic conditions caused by mosquito-borne pathogens. Our resulting paper, "Eastern Equine Encephalitis and use of IV Immunoglobulin Therapy and High-Dose Steroids," appears in the journal Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a newly recognized infectious disease that has rapidly spread across the globe. The mortality and disability due to COVID-19 are escalating and little is known about neurological consequences.
The Mukerji Lab has worked closely with the Mass General Clinical Data Animation Center (CDAC) CDAC and members of the division of Infectious Diseases to predict outcomes in COVID-19. Together, we used information from over 10,000 adult outpatients seen at Mass General’s respiratory illness clinics and Emergency Department to develop and validate the COVID-19 Acuity Score (CoVA), an AI-based tool that rapidly determines which symptomatic patients are most likely to develop complications and need to be hospitalized.Learn more about CoVA scores
Our other work on COVID-19 includes:
- Neuropathological features of SARS-CoV-2 Variants in Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology
- Sequencing characterization of SARS-CoV-2 in tissue reveals compartmentalized infection in Nature Communications
- Prolonged intubation in patients with prior cerebrovascular disease and COVID-19, published April 2021 in Frontiers in Neurology
- EEG Abnormalities are Common in COVID‐19 and are Associated with Outcomes, published March 2021 in Annals of Neurology
- Implications of COVID-19 sequelae for health-care personnel, published January 2021 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine
- What can we learn from brain autopsies in COVID-19?, published January 2021 in Neuroscience Letters
- Neuropathological Features of COVID-19, published on June 12, 2020 in the New England Journal of Medicine
- A patient-focused article about COVID-19 and neurological conditions in The American Academy of Neurology's Brain & Life Magazine
- Expert commentary on other post-mortem studies in Neurology Today
Support Our Work
Mass General Neuroinfectious Diseases Research is on the cutting edge of scientific advancement. Your contributions can help us understand the complex interactions of HIV and the brain.