The association between human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and multiple sclerosis (MS) is controversial. In fact, it is difficult to establish a causative role of HHV-6, due to the high prevalence of latently infected individuals in the healthy population. Therefore, the presence of virus sequences in tissue biopsy does not support a viral role, and serological assays do not show significant differences between MS patients and control populations. The only viral gene expressed during latency is U94/rep. Therefore, we have developed a serological assay for the detection of antibodies specifically directed against U94/REP protein. Different populations were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, including healthy controls, MS patients, and subjects with diseases unrelated to HHV-6 infection, including other neurological diseases. The results show statistically significant differences (P > 0.01) between MS patients and control groups, both in antibody prevalence (87 and 43.9%, respectively) and in geometric mean titer (1:515 and 1:190, respectively). The detection of antibodies specific for HHV-6 U94/REP shows that the immune system is exposed to this antigen during natural infection. The higher prevalence and higher titers of antibodies to U94/REP suggest that MS patients and control groups might experience different exposures to HHV-6.

Detection of antibodies directed against human herpesvirus 6 U94/REP in sera of patients affected by multiple sclerosis

CASELLI, Elisabetta
Primo
;
BONI, Michela
Secondo
;
BRACCI, Arianna;ROTOLA, Antonella;CASTELLAZZI, Massimiliano;DI LUCA, Dario
Penultimo
;
CASSAI, Enzo
Ultimo
2002

Abstract

The association between human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and multiple sclerosis (MS) is controversial. In fact, it is difficult to establish a causative role of HHV-6, due to the high prevalence of latently infected individuals in the healthy population. Therefore, the presence of virus sequences in tissue biopsy does not support a viral role, and serological assays do not show significant differences between MS patients and control populations. The only viral gene expressed during latency is U94/rep. Therefore, we have developed a serological assay for the detection of antibodies specifically directed against U94/REP protein. Different populations were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, including healthy controls, MS patients, and subjects with diseases unrelated to HHV-6 infection, including other neurological diseases. The results show statistically significant differences (P > 0.01) between MS patients and control groups, both in antibody prevalence (87 and 43.9%, respectively) and in geometric mean titer (1:515 and 1:190, respectively). The detection of antibodies specific for HHV-6 U94/REP shows that the immune system is exposed to this antigen during natural infection. The higher prevalence and higher titers of antibodies to U94/REP suggest that MS patients and control groups might experience different exposures to HHV-6.
Caselli, Elisabetta; Boni, Michela; Bracci, Arianna; Rotola, Antonella; Cermelli, C; Castellazzi, Massimiliano; DI LUCA, Dario; Cassai, Enzo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/1200421
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