This study seems to confirm the work of Italian researchers posted a couple of months ago. Beware varicella-zoster.
Varicella-zoster virus at relapses of multiple sclerosis.
J Neurol. 2007 Mar 31;
Sotelo J, Ordonez G, Pineda B.
Neuroimmunology Unit, National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery of Mexico, Insurgentes Sur 3877, 14269, Mexico City, Mexico, firstname.lastname@example.org
The possible participation of different herpes viruses was studied during exacerbations of multiple sclerosis (MS). We searched for the presence of DNA from the following herpes viruses: varicella zoster virus (VZV), herpes-simplex viruses 1 and 2; Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpes-virus-6 (HHV6) in mononuclear cells from patients with MS during relapse (n = 40), MS during remission (n = 131) and controls (n = 125). Additionally, immune cells containing viral antigens were quantified by flow cytometry, and VZV load was determined by real time PCR in 2 MS patients at various times during relapse and remission.
DNA from VZV was found in 95% of MS patients during relapse and in 17% during remission; all controls were negative; by contrast, DNA from HHV6 was found in 24% of MS patients during relapse and in 2% during remission; DNA from herpes simplex viruses was not found in any subject; and DNA from EBV was found in a similar percentage of subjects from all groups. Sequential quantification of VZV-load showed a curve that increased during relapse and disappeared at remission. Also, VZV antigens were found inside a large number of immune cells from MS patients during relapse as compared with MS patients on remission and controls.
In the typical forms of VZV infection, varicella and herpes-zoster, DNA from VZV is found in mononuclear cells exclusively during brief periods at the beginning of the active infection, but not during latency; thus, the conspicuous presence of VZV during relapses of MS may indicate a period of active infection and suggests the participation of VZV in the pathogenesis of MS.