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Braz J Infect Dis. 2013 Mar-Apr;17(2):156-63. doi: 10.1016/j.bjid.2012.09.008. Epub 2013 Mar 5.

Evaluation of reactive Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) in Iranian patient with different subtypes of multiple sclerosis (MS).

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Department of Neurology, Zahedan University of Medical Science, Zahedan, Iran.



Epstein-Barr virus has been recently associated with the onset of multiple sclerosis, yet understanding how it elicits autoimmunity remains elusive. We investigated the relation between Epstein-Barr virus reactivation and disease development in different subtypes of multiple sclerosis.


In the present research, we have determined the Epstein-Barr virus-DNA load by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Epstein-Barr virus antibody levels by EIA technique in both multiple sclerosis patients (n=78) and healthy controls (n=123).


Our results demonstrated increased titer of both anti-Epstein-Barr virus-IgG and IgM antibodies in patients (91.02% vs 82.11% in controls, p<0.001 and 14.1% vs 4.06% in controls, p<0.001, respectively). Overall, Epstein-Barr virus reactivation was found in 68.75% of subtypes of multiple sclerosis, 4.54% of multiple sclerosis primary subtype, and in only 3.25% of healthy control subjects. Moreover, in samples of patients with disease relapse (exacerbation) cell free viral DNA was elevated in contrast to other patients (p<0.001).


These findings provide further support for the detrimental effects of Epstein-Barr virus in the reactivation of multiple sclerosis attacks.

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