Varicella Zoster Often in CSF of MS patients

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Varicella Zoster Often in CSF of MS patients

Postby Frank » Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:54 am

I found it specially interesting, that among people without any neurological diseases none had viral DNA in CSF...


Varicella Zoster Often Found in Cerebrospinal Fluid of MS Patients

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Feb 08 - Cerebrospinal fluid from multiple sclerosis patients commonly contains varicella zoster virus DNA, Italian researchers report in the February issue of the Journal of Medical Virology.
"Our data on varicella zoster virus and multiple sclerosis suggest that the interaction between viruses, in particular, latently infecting viruses, and multiple sclerosis is more complex than expected," Dr. Pasquale Ferrante from the University of Milan, told Reuters Health.
Dr. Ferrante and associates examined cerebrospinal fluid samples from 85 individuals (38 with multiple sclerosis, 28 patients with other neurological diseases, and 19 without neurological diseases) for the presence of genomic DNA from varicella zoster virus, herpes simplex virus-1 and -2, human cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, JC virus, and human herpes virus 6.
Cerebrospinal fluid from 10 relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients (43.5%) contained varicella zoster virus DNA, the authors report, compared with two (13.3%) chronic progressive multiple sclerosis patients, three (10.7%) patients with other neurological diseases, and no patients without neurological disease.
Four of the relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients with varicella zoster virus DNA had dual infection (two with varicella zoster virus and JC virus DNA, and two with varicella zoster virus and human herpes virus 6 DNA), the results indicate. Only one other patient with neurological disease had a multiple infection (with varicella zoster virus, herpes simplex viruses, and human herpes virus 6).
The presence of viral DNA was not associated with altered IgG indexes, the researchers note, and an altered blood-brain barrier was present in fewer patients with at least one virus in their cerebrospinal fluid than in patients with negative viral DNA results.
"Thus," the investigators conclude, "detection of a virus in cerebrospinal fluid would appear to be due not to altered permeability of the blood-brain barrier, but to active replication within the central nervous system."
"Multiple sclerosis is a disease with a long clinical course and a constant activation of the immune system," Dr. Ferrante explained. "The increased number and/or activity of the cells of the immune system can have a dual effect: on one hand, it can produce an increase of the circulation and of the activation of latent viruses (such as herpes viruses), and, on the other hand, it can help to control the replication of these viruses."
Therefore, the "use of immune suppressive therapy could more easily lead to viral reactivation and to the development of viral diseases, as recently happened with the development of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in two multiple sclerosis patients treated with an innovative drug."
J Med Virol 2007;79:192-199.
Treatment: Gilenya since 01/2011, CCSVI both IJV ballooned 09/2010, Tysabri stopped after 24 Infusions and positive JCV antibody test, after LDN, ABX Wheldon Regime for 1 year.
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Postby daisy » Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:04 pm

Frank - Very interesting article. Thanks for posting it.

I have often wondered why the CSF from Lumbar punctures isn't routinely tested for viruses in MS patients.

I wonder if others on this board have had their CSF tested for viruses?

When my husband had his first LP in December, I had to literally beg and pester doctors to run a test on his CSF for HHV6. I insisted on that since he had tested positive in his blood serum test (that I also had to insist on) for HHV6. Inmy husband's case the CSF came back negative for HHV6. I wish I had understood more about this angle at the time and had had more viral tests done. I even understand now that they may not have even done the right test on the CSF to get the best result for HHV6.

Also, wonder - the MS patients who respond better to Immunoglobulin G therapy - are they likely to have one of the viruses mentioned in the article?

So many angles, so many questions, so much to learn :)

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