J Med Virol 2003 Jan;69(1):111-7
Chapenko S, Millers A, Nora Z, Logina I, Kukaine R, Murovska M.
August Kirchenstein Institute of Microbiology and Virology, University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia.
This study examined the association between HHV-6 infection and multiple sclerosis (MS) and the relationship between HHV-6 reactivation and disease activity.
The frequency of HHV-6 genomic sequences in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), the incidence of plasma viremia (nPCR), the transcription of viral mRNA in PBMCs (RT-PCR), the presence of antiviral IgM and IgG class antibodies in the plasma (IFA) of 16 relapsing/remitting and secondary progressive MS patients were studied in comparison with clinical manifestations of the disease, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of brain, and serum interleukin (IL)-12 concentrations (ELISA).
The prevalence of HHV-6 infection was significantly higher in patients with MS (16/26) than in patients with other neurological diseases (6/21) and in blood donors (43/150).
HHV-6 reactivation was found during periods of disease activity with Gadolinium-enhancing lesions on MRI in both relapsing/remitting and secondary progressive MS (10/13; 76.9%).
In patients with active MS disease, serum concentrations of IL-12 were significantly higher in those patients with active HHV-6 infection than in patients with latent infection.
The data confirm an association between HHV-6 infection and MS and show a correlation between HHV-6 reactivation and disease activity in relapsing/remitting and secondary progressive MS.
The risk of an exacerbation of MS was significantly higher (P < 0.005) in patients with active HHV-6 infection than in patients with latent infection.
A clear correlation between HHV-6 reactivation and serum IL-12 concentrations during disease activity has been demonstrated.
The results suggest that HHV-6 reactivation is implicated in exacerbation of MS, possibly through modulation of IL-12 synthesis.