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J Clin Microbiol. 1989 Jan;27(1):62-5.

Immunoglobulin G subclass antibodies to measles virus in patients with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis or multiple sclerosis.

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  • 1Department of Virology, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island 10314.


Mouse monoclonal antibodies specific for human immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclasses and a sensitive immunoassay were used to evaluate the IgG subclass antibody response to measles virus antigens in cerebrospinal fluid and serum samples from 20 patients with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), 12 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), and 11 controls with high measles virus antibody titers in serum. In patients with SSPE, measles virus-specific antibodies were found mainly in the IgG1 subclass and the IgG subclass distribution remained unchanged, irrespective of the clinical stage or duration of the disease. In patients with MS and in controls, measles virus activity was also associated mainly with IgG1. However, the activity was significantly lower than that found in patients with SSPE. The results suggest that there is no primary abnormality in humoral immune response to measles virus in patients with MS. The disproportionately high levels of the measles virus-specific IgG1 subclass found in patients with SSPE may be due to persistent antigenic stimulation or reflect a defect in immunoregulatory mechanisms in response to viral infection.

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