More MS news articles for June 2002

Clinical and epidemiological study: Multiple Sclerosis and Human Herpesvirus 6

Infection, Volume 30 Issue 3 (2002) pp 145-149
J. Gutiérrez (1), M.-J. Vergara (1), M. Guerrero (2), O. Fernández (3), G. Piédrola (1), P. Morales (1), M. del C. Maroto (1)
(1) Dept. of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital San Cecilio, Avda. de Madrid 11, E-18012 Granada, Spain; Phone: (+34/95) 8243550, Fax: -8246119
(2) Dept. of Neurology, University Hospital San Cecilio, Granada, Spain
(3) Dept. of Neurology, University Hospital Carlos Haya, Malage, Spain


A possible but as yet unproven relationship has been proposed between the onset or persistence of multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms and herpesviruses, including, most recently, human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6). A study was conducted to investigate the presence of HHV-6 DNA and the synthesis of antibodies against HHV-6, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with MS.

Materials and Methods:

PCR and ElISA were used to detect HHV-6 DNA and specific antibodies against HHV-6, CMV and EBV in 211 samples (139 sera and 72 CSF). There were three groups of samples: group I, paired samples of serum and CSF from 41 MS patients; group II, paired samples of serum and CSF from 31 patients with neurological diseases other than MS (OND); group III, 67 serum samples from 27 different MS patients undergoing serologic follow-up.


No HHV-6 DNA was found in any sample. Group I sera showed elevated anti-HHV-6 IgG and IgA levels. In group II, anti-CMV IgG was detected in one CSF sample and anti-HHV-6 IgM in one serum sample. Group III sera showed high concentrations of anti-HHV-6 IgG, IgA and IgM.


Given the clinical implications of the presence of antibodies against HHV-6 in MS patients, a viral reactivation cannot be excluded as an environmental factor.

© Urban & Vogel Medien und Medizin Verlagsgesellschaft 2002