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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 1999 Jul;6(4):545-9.

Similar humoral and cellular immunological reactivities to human herpesvirus 6 in patients with multiple sclerosis and controls.

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Department of Virology, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Stockholm, Sweden.


Several studies have suggested an association between human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and multiple sclerosis (MS). We have previously studied intrathecal production of antibody to lymphotropic herpesviruses in MS patients and the presence of human herpesvirus 1 to 7 DNAs in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In the present study anti-HHV-6 immunoglobulin M (IgM) in serum and anti-HHV-6 IgG subclasses in serum and CSF were examined and the lymphoproliferative response to HHV-6 was analyzed. The PCR examination was refined by purifying DNA from CSF and retesting the samples for HHV-6 DNA. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups concerning IgM positivity, distribution of IgG subclasses, or lymphoproliferative response to HHV-6. The purification of DNA increased the number of PCR-positive samples from 0 of 71 to 4 of 68. The study does not give additional support to the possibility that HHV-6 is a common cause of MS, but a role for the virus in a subset of patients cannot be excluded.

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