More MS news articles for Feb 2002

Prevalence of herpesvirus DNA in MS patients and healthy blood donors

Acta Neurologica Scandinavica
Volume 105 Issue 2 Page 95 - February 2002
R. Álvarez-Lafuente, C. Martín-Estefanía, V. de las Heras, C. Castrillo, I. Cour, J.J. Picazo, E. Varela de Seijas & R. Arroyo

Objectives -

The aim of this study is to determine the DNA prevalence of different members of Herpesviridae in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and to describe the possible effect of -interferon treatment on such prevalence.

Material and methods -

With a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay we have studied the DNA of the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of 204 whole blood samples, [102 from patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), of which 62 were treated with -interferon, and 102 from healthy blood donors].

Results -

We only found a statistically significant difference for human herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6) DNA prevalence (P < 0.0001): HHV-6 is 2.26 times more frequent in MS patients than in healthy donors. There was no difference in the HHV-6 prevalence between -interferon treated and untreated patients.

Conclusion -

1. Among the herpesviruses, HHV-6 was the only one showing altered prevalence. This either indicates that HHV-6 is involved in the pathogenesis of MS, or it simply indicates that MS influences latency or reactivation of HHV-6 without any direct involvement of HHV-6 in the disease process of MS.

2. Treatment with -interferon does not make a difference on the DNA prevalence of the herpesviruses studied in our MS patients.