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PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e32160. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032160. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Epstein-Barr virus stimulates torque teno virus replication: a possible relationship to multiple sclerosis.

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Division for the Characterization of Tumorviruses, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg, Germany.


Viral infections have been implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has frequently been investigated as a possible candidate and torque teno virus (TTV) has also been discussed in this context. Nevertheless, mechanistic aspects remain unresolved. We report viral replication, as measured by genome amplification, as well as quantitative PCR of two TTV-HD14 isolates isolated from multiple sclerosis brain in a series of EBV-positive and -negative lymphoblastoid and Burkitt's lymphoma cell lines. Our results demonstrate the replication of both transfected TTV genomes up to day 21 post transfection in all the evaluated cell lines. Quantitative amplification indicates statistically significant enhanced TTV replication in the EBV-positive cell lines, including the EBV-converted BJAB line, in comparison to the EBV-negative Burkitt's lymphoma cell line BJAB. This suggests a helper effect of EBV infections in the replication of TTV. The present study provides information on a possible interaction of EBV and TTV in the etiology and progression of multiple sclerosis.

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