HHV-6 vs EBV in a battle to decide which causes more cases of MS...coming soon to a theatre near you...
Human herpesvirus 6 and multiple sclerosis: a one-year follow-up study.
Brain Pathol. 2006 Jan;16(1):20-7.
Alvarez-Lafuente R, De Las Heras V, Bartolome M, Garcia-Montojo M, Arroyo R.
Servicio de Neurologia, Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: This study was undertaken in order to investigate the possible relation of HHV-6 and EBV in relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A one-year follow up study was performed analysing peripheral blood mononuclear cells and serum samples of 57 patients with RRMS and 57 healthy blood donors (HBD) by a quantitative real time PCR, to detect HHV-6 and EBV. Clinical data (starting age and EDSS increase) were collected.
RESULTS: We did not find any statistically significant difference for EBV between RRMS patients and HBD. Regarding HHV-6: i) There was a higher prevalence of HHV-6 in RRMS patients than in controls: 80.7% versus 29.8% respectively. ii) HHV-6 active replication seems to be related to exacerbations. iii) Only variant A was detected among RRMS patients with HHV-6 active replication. iv) Although some difference was found when we compared clinical data in RRMS patients with and without HHV-6 active replication, the results did not reach statistical significance.
CONCLUSIONS: A higher HHV-6A frequency of active infection (reactivation or new infection) would lead to a more frequent exposure of HHV-6A antigens to the immune system of RRMS patients; this active replication of HHV-6A seems to be specifically related with the exacerbations in a subset of RRMS patients.
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