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J Neurovirol. 2002 Jun;8(3):250-6.

Increased detection of serum HHV-6 DNA sequences during multiple sclerosis (MS) exacerbations and correlation with parameters of MS disease progression.

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Neuroimmunology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


In recent years, human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) has been investigated as a possible causative agent for MS. To determine if the detection of HHV-6 DNA in the serum of MS patients correlates with clinical parameters of MS disease progression, a total of 215 serum samples was obtained from 59 MS patients followed prospectively for a 5-month period. These samples were analyzed for the presence of HHV-6 DNA by nested PCR and compared in parallel to MS disease activity. HHV-6 DNA was amplified in 22% (4/18) of samples obtained during a period of clinical exacerbation. Significantly fewer (P = 0.008) sera, 5.6% (11/197), obtained from MS patients during clinical remission tested positive for the presence of HHV-6 DNA. This work demonstrates that the detection of serum HHV-6 DNA is significantly correlated with clinical exacerbations in MS. Moreover, the findings presented in this study have confirmed previous reports supporting an association between MS and HHV-6 and suggest a role for this human herpesvirus in the pathogenesis of MS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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