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Acta Neurol Scand. 1998 Mar;97(3):171-4.

The significance of Epstein-Barr virus seropositivity in multiple sclerosis patients?

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


The objective of this study was to evaluate and investigate the significance of the previously found 100% seropositivity toward Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) found in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in contrast to healthy controls. Using a commercially available ELISA-test (Biotest), which differentiates infections with EBV into previous infections, primary infections, reactivated infections and no previous infection, we found 137 of 138 MS patients and 124 of 138 healthy controls seropositive. A primary infection in 4 of the 124 EBV seropositive healthy controls in contrast to no primary infections in the MS EBV seropositive group was significant (P=0.049652, Fishers exact test). This may be suggestive of a lack of primary infections in MS patients, and thus strengthens the idea that MS patients are infected with EBV before development of MS. Further studies are in progress to analyse whether EBV infection is a prerequisite for the development of this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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