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More MS news articles for October 2003

Detection of Chlamydia pneumoniae in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with multiple sclerosis by combination of cell culture and PCR : no evidence for possible association

Mol Diagn. 2003 Mar;7(1):41-3
Chatzipanagiotou S, Tsakanikas C, Anagnostouli M, Rentzos M, Ioannidis A, Nicolaou C.
Department of Clinical Microbiology, Medical School of Athens, Aeginition Hospital, Athens, Greece.


During the course of multiple sclerosis (MS) intrathecal oligoclonal IgGs are present in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

The intracellular human pathogen Chlamydia pneumoniae may play a role either as a causative pathogenetic agent in the disease, or C. pneumoniae-infected MS patients could be immunologically less able to clear the agent from the central nervous system (CNS).


CSF samples were studied in 100 individuals - 70 MS patients and 30 age-matched controls with other neurological diseases.

CSF was taken by lumbal puncture; cell cultures were performed by the cell vial technique, followed by a 4-day incubation at 37 degrees C.

A nested PCR was performed.


C. pneumoniae was detectable in the CSF of only 2.9% of the MS patients and none of control patients (with no significant difference between the MS patients and controls).

IgG antibodies were positive in only 1.43% of the MS patients and 3.33% of the controls.

IgA antibodies were positive in 6.66% of the control patients and none of the patients were positive for IgM antibodies.

There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups of patients with respect to the three antibody classes.


The results confirm the high leave of controversy surrounding a possible link between C. pneumoniae and MS, and the matter requires further thorough investigation.