Multiple spurious empty folders appear in archive files

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Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
I'm connecting to my organization's Exchange Server using Outlook 2013 via IMAP. I have a number of archive (PST, <= 1 Gb) files containing email messages from past years which are always opened in Outlook as I need to search them fairly regularly. The older archives are only viewed or searched by Outlook, not changed.
For some reason spurious empty folders with seemingly random names are being created in the archive files at unpredictable times, NOT while archiving. I can delete these folders, but they reappear after a while. Often multiple folders with the same name appear. Example folder names are "Today|1,-2,-2,-2,-1,-1", "every <0d> years on <1w> <2w>", "Outlook found an empty VEVENT near line <0D>.".
I have seen a suggestion online that in the past McAfee antivirus did something like this, but I have never had McAfee on my system. The PST Repair Tool has found a small number of errors and repaired them, but the repair does not affect the spurious folders as far as I can see. I'm running 64-bit Office 2013 patched up to date under 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate also fully patched, and the AVAST Premier security suite with antivirus on, but antispam Off. Any suggestions would be welcome.
and the AVAST Premier security suite with antivirus on
Does that software add an Outlook addin? I'd try disabling that and see if it stops the problem. I know Norton software tiggers it - others may as well.
BTW, is there a reason you are using imap instead of exchange services to sync? Connecting as exchange would be a better ' experience' - of course, it means corporate has to have Exchange published for external access.
Apologies for the delay in responding. I decided to monitor the archive files for changes and nothing happened for a long time, until recently. I'm not using IMAP with Exchange, my mistake.
The Avast add-in is disabled, and I've indexed the messages regularly with Copernic Desktop Search, which I suspected, without any problems. I've no idea why the problem has resurfaced and unfortunately I did not notice exactly when it happened so I cannot relate it to any particular activity.
Deleting the spurious empty folders does not seem to cause any problems so I think this will have to be my solution, irritating though it is. This will have to be filed under 'vexing bugs - no solution'.
Thank you for your help
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