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J Med Virol. 2017 Jul;89(7):1309-1313. doi: 10.1002/jmv.24774. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Multiple sclerosis-associated retrovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, and vitamin D status in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.

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Virology Department, School of Public Health (SPH), Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran.
Virology Department, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.
Food Microbiology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
MS Research Centre, Neuroscience Institute, TUMS, Tehran, Iran.


The relationship between infections and autoimmune diseases is complex and there are several reports highlighting the role of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) in these patients. The levels of multiple sclerosis-associated retrovirus (MSRV)-type DNA of Env gene was measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 52 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and 40 healthy controls using specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis. Furthermore, we analyzed the status of HERV-W/MSRV in these patients with regards to both EBV (DNA load and anti-EBNA1 IgG antibody) and vitamin D concentration. MSRV DNA copy number were significantly higher in RRMS patients than healthy controls (P < 0.0001). Interestingly, an inverse correlation was found between MSRV DNA copy number and serum vitamin D concentration (P < 0.01), but not for EBV load or anti-EBNA-1 IgG antibody.


Epstein-bar virus; human endogenous retrovirus; multiple sclerosis associated retrovirus; relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis; vitamin D

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