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Clin Immunol. 2015 May;158(1):59-66. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2015.03.011. Epub 2015 Mar 21.

Risk factors for multiple sclerosis and associations with anti-EBV antibody titers.

Author information

1
Multiple Sclerosis Center, Abu Haidar Neuroscience Institute, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon.
2
Clinical Research Institute, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon.
3
Multiple Sclerosis Center, Abu Haidar Neuroscience Institute, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon. Electronic address: sk88@aub.edu.lb.

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelination of the central nervous system. We investigated the prevalence of EBV seropositivity and other known risk factors for MS (age, smoking, low vitamin D) and their effect on anti-EBV antibody titers. We retrospectively studied 249 MS patients receiving care at the American University of Beirut Medical Center and 230 controls, during 2010-2014. EBV seropositivity was higher in MS patients compared to controls for both anti-VCA (99.5%; 97.2%) and anti-EBNA-1 (96.3%; 89.4%), and the titers were significantly higher in MS patients. MS patients had a significantly lower vitamin D level (15.5 ± 8.3 ng/ml) compared to controls (20.4 ± 11.3 ng/ml). The proportion of heavy smokers and overweight individuals was significantly higher in MS patients. Lebanese MS patients have risk factors similar to those in western countries. Older age and female gender were associated with a higher anti-VCA titer and male gender with a higher anti-EBNA-1.

KEYWORDS:

Epstein–Barr virus; Multiple sclerosis; Risk factors

PMID:
25805657
DOI:
10.1016/j.clim.2015.03.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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