More MS news articles for November 2000

Human Herpesvirus 6 and Multiple Sclerosis: Systemic Active Infections in Patients with Early Disease

Knox KK, Brewer JH, Henry JM, Harrington DJ, Carrigan DR
Institute for Viral Pathogenesis, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA. kknox@hhv6.com

By means of immunohistochemical staining, cells actively infected with human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) were found in central nervous system tissues from 8 (73%) of 11 patients with definite multiple sclerosis (MS). Interestingly, 17 (90%) of 19 tissue sections showing active demyelination were positive for HHV-6-infected cells compared with only 3 (13%) of 23 tissue sections free of active disease (P<.0001). Central nervous system tissues from 2 of 28 normal persons and patients with other inflammatory demyelinative diseases were positive for HHV-6-infected cells (P<.0001), and the 2 positive cases were diagnosed as having HHV-6 leukoencephalitis. By use of a rapid culture assay, blood samples from 22 (54%) of 41 patients with definite MS were found to contain active HHV-6 infections, compared with 0 of 61 normal controls (P<.0001). No significant difference was found between HHV-6 viremia-positive and HHV-6 viremia-negative MS patients with respect to type of disease (relapsing/remitting or progressive). In contrast, patients with active HHV-6 viremia were significantly younger and had shorter durations of disease than did HHV-6 viremia-negative patients.
Clin Infect Dis 2000 Oct;31(4):894-903

Source: www.ncbi.nlm.gov