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Mult Scler. 1998 Dec;4(6):490-6.

Human Herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) infection in multiple sclerosis: a preliminary report.

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Advanced Biotechnologies Inc, Columbia, Maryland 21046, USA.


We examined cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) from multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and patients with other neurological diseases (OND) for antibody specific for Human Herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) and for HHV-6 DNA detectable by PCR. CSF from MS patients had a higher frequency of IgG antibody to HHV-6 late antigens (39.4%) compared with CSF from OND (7.4%). In contrast, the frequency of detectable IgG antibody in CSF from MS patients specific for Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) (12.1%) and Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) (6.1%) was much lower. Two of 12 MS CSFs (16.7%) also contained HHV-6 DNA detected by PCR. None of four OND CSF were positive for HHV-6 DNA. Plasma from 16 patients with MS, eight with OND and 72 healthy donors were tested for antibodies by ELISA to HHV-6 early (p41/38) and late (gp110) proteins. Although no differences in anti-gp110 IgG antibody were detected between MS patients, patients with other neurological diseases, and normals, IgG antibody to early protein p41/38 was detected in > 68% of the plasma from MS patients, 12.5% from OND patients and 27.8% of the controls. IgM antibody to p41/38 was present in > 56% of MS patients, 12.5% of OND patients, and 19% of controls. These data suggest that more than half of the MS patients had active, ongoing HHV-6 infections. HHV-6 was also isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 3/5 MS patients who were in relapse or had progressive disease and was identified as HHV-6 Variant B. These preliminary results support the hypothesis that HHV-6 may be a co-factor in the pathogenesis of some cases of MS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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