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J Neurovirol. 2008 Jan;14(1):73-7. doi: 10.1080/13550280701801107.

Inhibition of multiple-sclerosis-associated retrovirus as biomarker of interferon therapy.

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  • 1Section of Microbiology, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Center of Excellence for Biotechnology Development and Biodiversity Research, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy.


The authors performed a longitudinal evaluation of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, during 1 year of therapy with interferon-beta (IFN-beta), by clinical examination and detection of presence in the blood and viral load of MS-associated retrovirus (MSRV), by MSRVenv-specific, fully quantitative, real time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). MSRV load in the blood was directly related to MS duration and fell below detection limits within 3 months of IFN therapy; one patient had strong progression, accompanied by total MSRV rescue. These findings suggest that evaluation of plasmatic MSRV could be considered the first prognostic marker for the individual patient, to monitor disease progression and therapy outcome.

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