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Volume 44, Number 4, August 2011

Human herpesvirus-6 viral load and antibody titer in serum samples of patients with multiple sclerosis


Abbas Behzad-Behbahani, Mohammad Hadi Mikaeili, Mona Entezam, Anahita Mojiri, Gholamreza Yousefi Pour, Mohammad Mehdi Arasteh, Marjan Rahsaz, Mehrzad Banihashemi, Baharak Khadang, Afsaneh Moaddeb, Zahra Nematollahi, Negar Azarpira


Received: July 16, 2009    Revised: May 8, 2010    Accepted: August 12, 2010   

 

Corresponding author:

Faculty of Para-Clinical Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Meshkinfam St, 7143914693 Shiraz, Iran. E-mail address: Behbahani_2000@yahoo.com (A. Behzad-Behbahani).



 

Background and purpose: 

Despite the number of cases with definite diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) being on increase, the role of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) infection as a trigger for MS disease still is deliberated. Based on antibody detection and quantitative HHV-6 polymerase chain reaction assay, this study was achieved to find out the possible association between infection with HHV-6 and clinical progression of MS disease.



 

Methods:

A total of 108 serum samples were obtained from 30 MS patients followed prospectively for a 6-month period. These samples were analyzed for the presence of HHV-6 DNA by nested polymerase chain reaction enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and for anti-HHV-6 IgG titer. Activation of the disease was determined by either magnetic resonance imaging or by clinical status of the patients. Control groups were also included.



 

Results:

The average antibody index for the MS patients in the first sample collection was higher than both control groups (p = 0.001). HHV-6 DNA was detected in the serum samples of 10 of 30 MS patients. The mean HHV-6 viral load in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) with and without relapse was 973 and 714, respectively. Seven patients showed an exacerbation during the study period. Of those, four patients had HHV-6 DNA in their collected samples. The prevalence of HHV-6 DNA was significantly higher in patients with MS as compared with control groups (p = 0.001).



 

Conclusion:

The results indicate that HHV-6 is implicated somehow in MS disease. Over time, rising HHV-6 IgG antibody titers together with an exacerbation and detection of HHV-6 DNA in serum samples of some MS patients suggests possible association between the reactivation of the virus and disease progression.



 

Key words:

DELISA, HHV-6, Multiple sclerosis